Auburn defeated Purdue 63–14 in Nashville Friday, breaking multiple records along the way.
Auburn beat Purdue 63–14 in the Music City Bowl Friday. That is not a typo.
The Tigers' much-maligned offense put on a nearly perfect display. The first half was particularly insane, where Auburn scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions of the half. The only drive that didn't end in a touchdown was a seven-second possession in which the Tigers knelt out the second quarter, leading 56–7 at halftime. Auburn didn't continue pounding on Purdue at quite the same rate in the second half. But as might be expected, Auburn put up some pretty mindblowing numbers en route to its victory. Here are some of the craziest stats:
1. QB Jarrett Stidham's Stat Line
The junior QB knew exactly what to do every time the ball was in his hands. Stidham finished 15-of-21 for 373 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for six yards on one carry. Stidham threw for 335 yards and four scores just in the first half.
2. JaTarvious Whitlow Scored on His First Three Touches
Yes, you read that correctly. The Tigers' RB got off to a hot start, scoring on Stidham's 66-yard pass on the opening drive. In Auburn's next two possessions, Whitlow punched in a two-yard touchdown run and then a one-yarder. He finished with 10 rushing yards and those two touchdowns on seven carries.
3. Auburn Broke the Record for Most Points Scored in a Bowl Game by a SEC Team
Alabama previously held the record with its 61–6 victory over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1953. The Crimson Tide led by only 21–6 at halftime but scored an impressive 20 points in both the third and fourth quarters to demolish the Orange.
4. Auburn Also Broke the Music City Bowl's Scoring Record in the First Half
West Virginia defeated Ole Miss 49–39 in the 2000 Music City Bowl, which had previously been the highest score any team had managed in four quarters. Freshman QB Eli Manning led the Rebels back into that one after trailing 35–9 in the second half. It was a special moment for the Mountaineers, giving retiring coach Don Nehlen his final victory. It now will no longer sit atop the Music City Bowl record books.
5. The Tigers Now Hold the Record for Most Points Scored in One Half of a Bowl Game
West Virginia also previously held the record for the most points scored in the first half of a bowl game. The Mountaineers led Clemson 49–20 at halftime in the 2012 Orange Bowl. West Virginia went on to defeat the Tigers 70–33 that day.
6. Auburn Went For it on Fourth Down Twice While Up by 35 points
Up 42–7 in the second quarter, the Tigers were determined to keep scoring on the Boilermakers. Auburn went for it on fourth-and-three at Purdue's 38-yard line to gain the first down with Stidham's 16-yard pass to Sal Cannella. After moving the ball down the field, Auburn went for it on fourth-and-one, as Whitlow gained the first down with a four-yard run. The Tigers would go on to score on Anthony Schwartz's six-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal.
7. There Was a Giant Time of Possession Gap
Purdue had the ball for 19 minutes compared to only 11 minutes for Auburn in the first half, who scored too quickly to keep the ball. By the game's end, Auburn held onto the ball for 33:41 minutes, while Purdue's possessions tallied to 25:49 minutes.
8. Auburn Topped Its Previous High Score Against a Power 5 Opponent
In Week 4, a then-ranked No. 9 Auburn demolished Arkansas 34–3 thanks to its special teams. Noah Igbinoghene scored on a 96-yard kickoff return and Jordyn Peters later partially blocked a punt to help set up another touchdown. Whitlow also rushed for 49 yards and two scores to give the Tigers a boost. Otherwise, the Auburn offense was inconsistent at best and stagnant at worst all season long.
9. Purdue Beat Ohio State by 29 Points in October
Purdue produced one of the season's most surprising blowouts when it upset No. 2 Ohio State 49–20 in October, which means that every Auburn touchdown from here on makes the transitive loss for the Big Ten champions that much worse.