09/14 21:20 CDT Whitlow, Nix lead No. 8 Auburn past Kent State, 55-16
Whitlow, Nix lead No. 8 Auburn past Kent State, 55-16
By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) --- JaTarvious Whitlow rushed for 135 yards and two
touchdowns and Bo Nix ran and passed for scores to lead No. 8 Auburn to a 55-16
victory over Kent State Saturday night.
The Tigers (3-0) piled up 467 rushing yards --- and three 100-yard rushers ---
in their final tune up before Southeastern Conference play. They also got some
big plays running and passing from Nix, including a 49-yard flea flicker to Eli
Stove for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Then both offensive stars were able to head to the sideline after the Tigers
avoided a pre-SEC letdown against the Golden Flashes (1-2).
Most of the damage was done with a running game that had struggled at times.
Nix had runs of 17 and 18 yards on consecutive plays to set up a touchdown on
the opening drive and added a 1-yard score. He completed 12 of 16 passes for
161 yards for an offense that topped its combined points from the first two
Backup quarterback Joey Gatewood ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Shaun Shivers, Auburn's 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back, also gained 102
yards. It was the first time Auburn had three 100-yard rushers in a game since
1983 with a Bo Jackson-led group against Maryland.
The Golden Flashes closed to 14-10 early in the second quarter on Dustin Crum's
53-yard downfield strike to Isaiah McKoy. Auburn had gone six-plus quarters
without giving up a TD before that, but it was Kent State's last big highlight
for a while.
Crum completed 15 of 24 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked
Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown sustained an unspecified injury in the
first quarter. He watched the second half in street clothes.
Kent State: Started Crum at quarterback for the second straight game. Former
starter and ex-Auburn signee Woody Barrett entered the game in the third
quarter, down 38-10. Barrett did contribute a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
Coach Sean Lewis drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first half.
Auburn: Took care of business ahead of the SEC opener. Diversified its running
attack considerably, with Kam Martin, Shivers and quarterbacks Nix and Gatewood
getting more involved. The defense allowed four straight third-down conversions
on the opening drive but did get stronger.
Auburn left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho was replaced in the starting lineup by
Bailey Sharp. It was the senior's first career start. Top receiver Seth
Williams was held out with a shoulder injury.
Kent State hosts Bowling Green seeking back-to-back MAC wins for the first time
Auburn opens Southeastern Conference play at No. 16 Texas A&M.