No. 15 Auburn finally got vertical Saturday night in Columbia.
“Really a big key was the explosive plays. We had some explosive plays down the field,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We had three in the passing game that were huge that gave us some momentum.
“Anytime you got explosive plays on offense you can start getting into your pace and your rhythm.”
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Adding a vertical element to its passing game has been one of the biggest priorities for AU during the offseason and it finally came to fruition in the fourth game of the season.
Stidham also connected with Will Hastings on a 46-yard pass in the second quarter and Nate Craig-Myers on a 57-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Stidham’s longest pass from scrimmage coming into the game was 38 yards. He finished 13-of-17 for 218 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 35 yards on five carries.
"He’s getting better every time out,” Malzahn said. “He also made some plays with his legs early when things broke down. I just thought he had a very good game and you can just see him getting more and more comfortable with the offense.”
Auburn also had a couple of explosive plays on the ground including 47-yard run by Kam Martin and a 31-yard run by Eli Stove.
“We got some explosive plays and that’s kind of what we’ve been missing on offense,” running backs coach Tim Horton said.
Auburn had 482 total yards as it improves to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC. AU hosts No. 17 Mississippi State next Saturday at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN.