Jarrett Stidham threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns and No. 10 Auburn beat Southern Miss 24-13 on Saturday night in a game disrupted for nearly three hours by lightning.
A late interception by Christian Tutt and a 23-yard field goal by Anderson Carlson with 2 minutes remaining put the game out of reach for the Golden Eagles, who put pressure on Stidham for much of the game.
Playing behind a shuffled offensive line, Stidham completed 19 of 33 attempts, including touchdowns of 46 yards to Seth Williams and 2 yards to Chandler Cox, while enduring four sacks.
The Tigers (4-1) had built a 14-3 lead in the first half before the game was delayed for two hours, 44 minutes at the 4:27 mark of the second quarter as lightning forced players and fans to take shelter.
Williams finished with two receptions for 60 yards, including the freshman’s first career score. Darius Slayton led Auburn with five catches for 91 yards.
Stidham was forced to work behind a shuffling offensive line. Freshman Nick Brahms made his second straight start at center only to be replaced by Kaleb Kim, who started the team’s first three games. Both of Auburn’s starting tackles were also helped to the locker room in the second half. Left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho was replaced by junior Bailey Sharp, and right tackle Jack Driscoll by freshman Calvin Ashley.
The Tigers’ ground game produced just 96 yards as Auburn failed to break the 100-yard mark in back-to-back games for the first time since 2012. JaTarvious Whitlow left the game with a shoulder injury before the delay and returned without pads. Junior Kam Martin led the Tigers with 90 yards on 24 carries.
Entering the game as the No. 8 passing offense in the nation, Southern Miss (2-2) relied heavily on sophomore quarterback Jack Abraham, who completed 30 of 44 passes for 215 yards, a score and two interceptions. Auburn limited the Golden Eagles to 45 yards on the ground.