Auburn handles Mercer in weather-delayed season opener

Auburn, Alabama — Football is back at Jordan Hale Stadium for the first five weeks of the season. Saturday night under the lights (6 p.m. CST, ESPN+) against Mercer.

Bryan Harsin’s second Auburn team will debut with new starting quarterback TJ Finley, against a Mercer team that has had a game since Week 0: a 63-13 win over Morehead State the University.

Follow here for scoring updates throughout the game, as well as injuries and other developments for the Tigers’ season opener.

fourth quarter

0:25 4Q: Mercer ends the 65-yard touchdown with another scoring pitch by Payton against the Auburn Reserve. missed the PAT ground (Auburn 42, Mercer 16).

3:59 4Q: Harsin picks up the 4 and 9 while Ashford scrambles to get the edge.

5:54 4Q: Ashford throws a dart at John Samuel Schenkel for a big pass in midfield.

7:13 4Q: Ashford remains at quarterback as Auburn wants time to run out.

7:49 4Q: Mercer hits 33 yards field goal (Auburn 42, Mercer 10).

9:34 4Q: Fred Payton completes a long pass on the sideline, converts the third ball into the third and puts Mercer inside the 10-yard line.

13:30 4Q: Auburn stops at 3 and 9. The ball went over the Mercer punter’s head, but somehow he was able to pick it up and kick it away in front of his own goal line. But encountering a kicker is a call, so the Bears come down first.

the third quater

1:21 3Q: Bigsby scores from 39 yards in the first game after a delay. ground (Auburn 42, Mercer 7).

1:33 3Q: The players have returned to the court to warm up. The game is expected to start around 9:55pm CST.

1:33 3Q: We’ve entered a lightning delay of at least 30 minutes.

2:17 3Q: Mercer bets again after Auburn’s fourth 3-pointer.

4:47 3Q: Hunter scores again, matching last year’s touchdown total. ground (Auburn 35, Mercer 7).

5:37 3Q: Ashford joins Ja’Varrius Johnson for a nice 56 yards into the red zone.

6:34 3Q: Ashford joins the offense and converts the 3-pointer to Tavarish Dawson.

8:59 3Q: TJ Finley is selected again.

9:55 3Q: Auburn crosses midfield after a couple of bigsby starts.

12:50 3Q: Mercer gets the first drop but will punt again after the Tigers’ third and fifth suspension.


0:20 2Q: Payton short pass to Harper ground (Auburn 28, Mercer 7).

0:37 2Q: Auburn pauses at four and one on Auburn’s 6-yard line. Update: The call was overturned for the first time.

1:12 2Q: Payton hits the 3 and 10 with a good shot to knock the 1 down.

1:29 2Q: Finley is sent off outside his own red zone. Mercer had their best spot of the game.

2:44 2Q: Tank Bigsby’s long run was impressive, but it came back after beating Austin Troxell.

3:28 2Q: Mercer QB Fred Payton concedes the ball on 3-pointers and 3-pointers and the Bears will punt again.

5:04 2Q: Tank Bigsby short carry ground (Auburn 28, Mercer 0).

7:31 2Q: Finley gives Ashford in the backcourt, who pitches to Bisbee for a huge gain.

9:26 2Q: Another Mercer punt is coming. Keionte Scott returns to punt near midfield.

10:17 2Q: Jarquez Hunter walks in ground (Auburn 21, Mercer 0).

11:09 2Q: Ashford runs to the 3-yard line.

12:39 2Q: Mercer will punt from his No. 18 after the second miss. Auburn will start with his own No. 41.

the first season

0:00 1Q: Auburn will play across the midfield at the start of the second quarter.

2:44 1Q: A quick 3-pointer from Mercer with Auburn on his own 47-yard line after a fair catch.

3:43 1Q: Finley makes a quick pass to John Samuel Shenker ground (Auburn 14, Mercer 0).

4:22 1Q: Finley to Ja’Varrius Johnson for 40 yards.

5:30 1Q: Robby Ashford rushes for 49 yards from his own 7-yard line.

6:20 1Q: Mercer picks up a first drop then punt, gets hold call damage on second drop.

9:32 1Q: Jarquez Hunter steals a couple of tackles from 19 yards and scores ground (Auburn 7, Mercer 0).

11:34 1Q: Finley’s first finish is for Javarius Johnson for 17 yards.

13:28 1Q: Robbie Ashford checks in in Game 4 of the game, runs for 8 yards, then exits.

15:00 1Q: Mercer wins the toss and delays. Auburn will start with the ball.

Before the game

• Kam Stutts will play right back on veteran Keiondre Jones. The pair were listed as co-sponsors on the depth chart earlier this week.

• OneThe only unclothed scholarship player at uburn was DT Zykeivous Walker (knee).

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