Johnson, No. 15 Auburn run away from Missouri
COLUMBIA – Kerryon Johnson ran for five rushing touchdowns, including four in the first half, as the No. 15 Auburn Tigers (3-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) defeated the Missouri Tigers (1-3, 0-2 SEC), 51-14.
It was the first regular season meeting between the two teams.
The Mizzou loss marked the end of the team’s first ever four-game homestand to open a season. Mizzou managed one victory on Faurot Field in that span, a 72-43 win over Missouri State in the opener.
Following a Mizzou 3-and-out to start the game, Auburn came out firing on all cylinders. Auburn went 80 yards on six plays in 2:10 to score on its first possession, a 1-yard TD run by Johnson. On the ensuing Mizzou possession, Carlton Davis intercepted a tipped Drew Lock pass setting up Auburn’s offense with a short field. Seven plays later, Johnson punched in his second TD of the game on a 2-yard run.
Auburn led 14-0 after the first quarter and just over a minute into the second quarter added to the lead when Johnson scored on a second 1-yard TD run. On the next drive, Mizzou got into Auburn territory for the first time, but Lock was stripped on a would-be pass attempt and Auburn’s Marlon Davidson recovered the fumble taking it down to the Mizzou 20. Johnson would add his fourth TD of the half on a 7-yard run to make it 28-0 Auburn with 7:45 left in the half.
Mizzou’s offense shook off the turnover on its previous possession and drove 78 yards on 10 plays thanks in large part to freshman running back Larry Rountree who had 32 yards on the drive. After getting into the redzone for the first time, Lock found Damarea Crockett on a screen pass and Crockett took it the rest of the way for a 16-yard touchdown to cut the Auburn lead to 28-7. That marked Mizzou’s first touchdown since the 13:07 mark of the second quarter in the South Carolina game in Week 2, Purdue held the Tigers to one field goal in Week 3.
Daniel Carlson added a 41-yard field goal late in the half to extend Auburn’s lead to 31-7 at halftime. While Marching Mizzou and the Golden Girls performed “Stayin’ Alive” and other songs from “Saturday Night Fever” to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary at the half, the hopes for a Mizzou victory weren’t living up to the BeeGees hit.
Johnson continued his scoring prowess in the second half, adding his fifth rushing touchdown of the game on a third 1-yard TD run as Auburn took a 31-point lead just under five minutes into the third quarter. Following a quick 3-and-out for the Mizzou offense, Auburn’ quarterback Jarrett Stidham found Nate Craig-Myers on the first play of the drive for a 57-yard touchdown to make the score 45-7.
Carlson booted two long field goals, of 52 and 54 yards to add to Auburn’s lead before Lock found J’Mon Moore on a 25-yard passing TD early in the fourth quarter. It was the first receiving TD for Moore since he had two against Missouri State.
Lock threw for 216 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT and had two fumbles. A few bright spots for Mizzou were the performance of the freshman Rountree and seeing a healthy Crockett contribute 77 all-purpose yards including the receiving TD. Defensively, safety Anthony Sherrils had a strong game tying for the team-lead with seven tackles and defensive lineman Kobie Whiteside added five tackles and a sack.
Mizzou has a bye week next week ahead of an Oct. 7 game at Kentucky, the Tigers return home on Oct. 21 for Homecoming 106 against Idaho.