BIRMINGHAM, AL - (WTVY-TV) Jeremy Johnson came off the bench to throw for a touchdown and run for another score, leading Auburn to a 31-10 win over Memphis at the Birmingham Bowl.
The Tigers broke open a close game with three second half touchdowns, including Johnson's 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Smith. Johnson added a 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter as the Tigers were pulling away.
Auburn's defense set the tone, limiting Memphis to just 206 total yards. That included just 104 passing yards and an interception from Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, considered one of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Auburn's offense started fast against Memphis, producing points on the Tigers' first two drives of the game. Daniel Carlson kicked a 20-yard field goal and Kerryon Johnson added an 8-yard touchdown, giving Auburn a 10-0 lead after the first quarter.
Memphis rallied with 10 points of it's own in the second quarter. Jake Elliott connected on a 53-yard field goal and Reggis Ball returned an interception for a touchdown, tying the game at 10 at halftime. Memphis could've led at half, but another Elliott field goal attempt was blocked.
In the second half, Auburn took control, scoring on Johnson's 11-yard pass to Smith. After Johnson scored again to start the fourth quarter, Auburn put the game away minutes later on a 4-yard scoring run from Jovon Robinson.
Auburn rolled up 405 total yards, including 254 on the ground. Robinson had 121 of those yards on 25 carries. Peyton Barber added 44 yards on the ground, going over the 1,000-yard mark for the year.
Sean White started at quarterback for Auburn, but battled through an up and down day, throwing two interceptions, including Ball's pick six in the second quarter. Jason Smith also threw an interception for Auburn on a double reverse pass attempt.
Former Dale County star Jamarius Henderson saw limited time for Memphis, catching one pass for seven yards and recording one carry for -1 yards.