No. 15 Auburn overcomes turnovers to beat Mercer

LOOK: Frustrated Auburn fans take to Twitter over continued offensive struggles

Pettway's 3TD performance pushes No. 15 Auburn past Mercer

15 Tigers couldn't pin it on their opponent.

Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers have not had a great couple of weeks.

Rushing offense: C - Kamryn Pettway ran for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, but it came on 34 carries against an FCS team.

The Auburn offense had a lot of questions to answer after failing to score a touchdown in a 14-6 loss to Clemson last week. "It kind of snowballed on us".

Auburn redshirt sophomore QB Jarrett Stidham threw for 364 yards and an interception while completing 32-of-37 passes with an interception in a 24-10 victory over MErcer on Saturday. This gave Auburn the ball on its own 22. Stidham was picked off when Kam Lott ripped the ball away from Nate Craig-Myers, a lackluster effort by the intended receiver that symbolized the entire afternoon.

The Bears (1-2) fell behind 17-3 on Pettway's second TD, a 9-yard run midway through the third quarter. But the private school from Macon, Georgia made things interesting with its only drive of any significance in the game.

Even when the Tigers managed to keep possession of the ball, they couldn't help but shoot themselves in the foot.

"It wasn't easy for Auburn to score when they did score".

The Bears couldn't take advantage of the opportunity. Five plays later, Pettway was in the end zone, running over two defenders on his way to a 4-yard touchdown.

But the Tigers were more relieved than excited when this one ended.

"A few mistakes here and there, but a tremendous effort", Mercer coach Bobby Lamb said. We've got to run the football better.

Mercer: The Bears left the field to a rousing ovation from those who made the short trip from Macon. Pettway finished with 128 yards on the night but the team averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.

There was a scary moment in the second quarter. The Tigers were walloped 35-3 by Purdue and appear to be in disarray.

When James went down, teammate Mike Horton landed on his back.

NOTES: Auburn senior OT Darius James had to be strapped down on a backboard and carted off the field after suffering an injury in the second quarter. James was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but television reports indicated he had movement in all his extremities. After the game, Malzahn said the player was doing well and would make a full recovery.

Auburn held on to win, improving to 2-1.

There was nothing in this performance to impress the voters. Jacksonville State transfer Casey Dunn then entered the game to play center.

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