EditorsNote: adds new fourth graf; fixes to “49-20” in fifth graf; adds “Big” in seventh graf
Jarrett Stidham passed for 373 yards and five touchdowns in his final college game as Auburn overwhelmed Purdue 63-14 in the Music City Bowl on Friday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.
Stidham, a junior who announced earlier this month that he was leaving school early to enter the NFL Draft, completed 15 of 21 passes and threw touchdown passes of 74, 52 and 34 yards to Darius Slayton, 5 yards to Ryan Davis and 66 yards to JaTarvious Whitlow on the third play of the game.
Slayton finished with 160 yards on just the three scoring receptions, and Whitlow added scoring runs of 2 and 1 yards for the Tigers (8-5), who scored the first 21 points, led 28-7 after the first quarter and 56-7 at halftime on their way to setting an SEC record for points scored in a bowl game.
The 56-point first half was the highest-scoring half ever in a bowl game.
Freshman Rondale Moore ran 7 yards for a touchdown and David Blough ran 22 for another score for the Boilermakers (6-7), who lost four of their last six games after a 49-20 defeat of Ohio State, one of the most surprising upsets of the college season.
Tigers coach Gus Malzahn called the plays Friday in the wake of offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey leaving for Kansas, and the team responded with 586 yards of total offense.
The Auburn defense contributed to the record point total as Big Kat Bryant intercepted a pass from Blough and returned the ball 20 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.
Whitlow’s three touchdowns gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter before Moore got Purdue on the scoreboard with his run.
Stidham and Slayton’s first touchdown connection came in the first quarter, and they added another early in the second before Bryant’s interception return.
After Anthony Schwartz’s 6-yard touchdown run, Stidham and Slayton teamed on their third score to give Auburn a 56-7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Stidham connected with Davis, and Blough ran for his touchdown to complete the scoring.
Purdue had the second-most productive passing game in the Big Ten, but Blough managed just 184 yards passing against Auburn. He completed 22 of 37 and was intercepted twice.
The Boilermakers totaled 263 yards.
—Field Level Media