Auburn quarterback Payton Thorne (1) runs the ball against Vanderbilt during the first quarter at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

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Auburn cruises to 31-15 win over Vanderbilt

Jarquez Hunter rushed for 183 yards and had two long first-quarter touchdown runs, helping visiting Auburn open up an early lead it never relinquished in a 31-15 win at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

Auburn (5-4, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) quarterback Payton Thorne passed for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Vanderbilt (2-8, 0-6) totaled just 266 yards of offense, played two quarterbacks and didn’t go over 100 yards of total offense until just under four minutes remained in the third quarter.

The Commodores were 2 of 14 on third downs and were sacked five times.

After Vanderbilt was flagged for pass interference on third down, Thorne hit a wide-open Rivaldo Fairweather for a 53-yard touchdown to put Auburn up 24-7 with 13:36 remaining in the third quarter.

After another of Vandy’s seven punts, the Tigers tacked on more when Thorne hit Jeremiah Cobb with a shovel pass for a 5-yard score with 9:44 left in the third.

Vandy got its first offensive touchdown when Ken Seals found freshman Junior Sherrill across the middle for a 30-yard score that preceded Jayden McGowan’s 2-point conversion rush.

The Commodores forced a punt and drove to the Auburn 11. But a sack pushed Vandy back, setting up an unsuccessful fourth-and-15 with 5:48 left in the game.

Auburn’s Nehemiah Pritchett intercepted Seals with 1:50 left.

The Tigers had 226 yards to Vandy’s 93 in taking a 17-7 halftime lead.

Auburn’s Hunter ran through a gaping hole between center and left guard, dashing 67 yards for a touchdown exactly five minutes in on the Tigers’ second snap.

Hunter later found a hole on the right side of center, broke a few arm tackles and rumbled 56 yards for another touchdown at 3:01 of the first.

Vandy finally got on the board when Bryce Cowan jumped a Thorne pass at the Auburn 4 and easily scored with 12:15 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers had first-and-goal from the Vandy 3 inside the first half’s final minute. But a personal foul pushed Auburn back and eventually forced Alex McPherson’s 32-yard field goal with 20 seconds left.

Vanderbilt has now lost eight straight.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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