AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — JaTarvious Whitlow ran for 122 yards and receiver Anthony Schwartz accounted for 117 total yards and two touchdowns to help No. 7 Auburn rout Alabama State 63-9 on Saturday night.
Starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham played only into the second quarter, with the Tigers (2-0) leading 42-0. The redshirt junior finished 6 of 11 for 113 yards with a passing and rushing score.
Stidham's backup, sophomore Malik Willis, gifted the Hornets (1-1) their first points of the night when he was sacked in the end zone on his first snap for a 4-yard safety in the second quarter. Willis directed the offense until 23-year-old freshman left-hander Cord Sandberg took the on the last play of the third quarter.
Sandberg, a former minor league baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies, completed one pass for 22 yards and ran for 35 yards on three carries.
A silver medalist for the 100m in the U20 World Championships in Finland over the summer, Schwartz got to display his world-class speed in the Tigers' home opener. On his second reception, the true freshman hauled in a 57-yard post route from Stidham for the score.
Schwartz added a rushing touchdown midway through the second quarter on a reverse to top off Auburn's highest scoring half since dropping 42 in the first half in a 62-3 win over Western Carolina on Oct. 12, 2013 — also the last time Auburn scored over 60 points.
A play after Schwartz's touchdown grab, safety Daniel Thomas jumped a route for a 29-yard pick-six. The junior recorded his second interception of Darryl Pearson Jr. in the second quarter for the first multi-interception outing by a Tiger since Thomas picked off Alabama's Jalen Hurts twice in 2016.
Alabama State: The Hornets cycled through quarterbacks before redshirt sophomore KHA'Darris Davis found Joe Williams for a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Pearson Jr., the Hornets' starter, was pulled in favor of Dakota Rocker.
Auburn: Freshmen accounted for 457 of Auburn's 568 total yards. The Tigers' four turnovers are their most since committing five in a 24-10 win over FCS Mercer last season.
Alabama State: The Hornets travel to Kennesaw State next Saturday. Donald Hill-Eley's team won't return to Montgomery until Nov. 3 against Texas Southern.
Auburn: The Tigers open SEC play against No. 11 LSU next Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. ESPN announced during the game that College Gameday will be traveling to No. 4 Ohio State vs. TCU in Arlington, Texas, over Auburn-LSU.