Auburn beat Mercer 24-10 on Saturday. Anyone that watched the game will tell you that Auburn could have done better. But that doesn’t change the fact that Jarrett Stidham delivered a near perfect performance.
Most college football odds offered by sportsbooks probably won’t reflect Auburn’s performance in any notable manner. A lot of people are talking about Jarrett’s performance on Saturday but one cannot ignore the five turnovers that dirtied everything.
Jarrett Stidham didn’t win many critics over with his performance against Clemson a week ago. The QB fought to get to 11 sacks and everyone agreed that he held the ball for a little too long.
Something must have changed because Jarrett was a whole new man in the game against Mercer. There were some eyes on Chip Lindsey. The offensive coordinator was calling plays for the first time in the season and Jarrett executed each play perfectly.
The fact that he was throwing the ball more often than usual was the result of all the work the QB has been doing with Coach Lindsay, or so he said. Jarrett was pleased with what he did on Saturday.
And he had every reason to be. The QB’s eighteen passes elevate Jarrett above Stan White who has held the school record since 1993. Having delivered a 300-yard game and connected on 86 percent of passes, Jarrett is quickly garnering a reputation as the player to watch at Auburn.
Of course, Mercer was not content to simply sit back and watch Jarrett and his ilk score points. Five turnovers ended three Auburn drives and brought plenty of opportunities their way.
Jarrett admitted that the final score was a little disappointing. The QB believes that Auburn could have scored several points, and he isn’t wrong. The team did some amazing things with the ball.
And every player on the field played their part in perfectly executing the game plan. Jarrett might have been the standout but he wasn’t the only player doing his job. However, Auburn didn’t turn the ball over enough.
Coach Gus Malzahn was happy to heap praise on Jarrett and his team. But he also thought that the team could have run the football better. That just means that Auburn still has a few more kinks to fix, and that is nothing new.
Every team struggles in at least one area. Malzahn can take comfort from the fact that Jarrett is no longer one of those problems. At the very least, no one could have accused him of holding onto the ball for too long this time.
His roommate Chandler Cox couldn’t wait to gush over just how amazing the athlete was on the field. Auburn’s offense could do with a few improvements but at least Jarrett is doing his part.
Part of Jarrett’s success can be imputed to how well he is connecting with his teammates. It is difficult to coordinate plays if the players involved are not operating on the same wavelength.
Additionally, Jarrett seems to see the field a lot better these days. He knows how to spot openings and when to make his move to take better advantage of them.