Across the Yellowhammer State this past Saturday, No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn enjoyed one last tune-up before the big showdown inside Jordan-Hare Stadium next Saturday.

As the Tide and Tigers enjoyed comfortable wins over inferior competition, UAB and South Alabama fell hard on the road while two FCS teams from the state will once again participate in the FCS Playoffs.

 

Auburn Pulls away from Louisiana-Monroe

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Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers wrapped up their non-conference slate with a 42-14 victory over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

Auburn struggled through nearly the first 30 minutes of the game as they were tied with the Warhawks at 7-7 late in the second quarter. With less than 90 seconds left until halftime, Tigers wide receiver Darrius Slayton outjumped a ULM defensive back Corey Straughter for a touchdown.

After halftime, Auburn took care of business by scoring touchdowns on four of their six possessions in the second half.

For the game, Kerryon Johnson led all ball carries with 137 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown.

 

FCS Playoff Field is Set

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Sunday was a celebratory day for both No. 2 Jacksonville State and No. 13 Samford as both teams will make repeat appearances in the FCS Playoffs.

Thanks to a stellar 10-1 record, the Gamecocks will receive a No. 3 national seed and a first round bye. Meanwhile, Samford will travel to Kennesaw State for a first round playoff contest next Saturday.

In their final OVC game of the season, Jacksonville State’s defense dominated the game in a 36-6 win over Tennessee State.

JSU held Tennessee State to 97 yards of total offense while sacking Tigers quarterback Michael Hughes seven times.

On offense, quarterback Bryant Horn and running back Roc Thomas each rushed for over 100 yards. Horn recorded a game-high 148 rushing yards on 13 carries with a touchdown while Thomas finished the game 105 rushing yards on 14 carries along with a touchdown.

Over in Homewood, the Samford Bulldogs fought off the Furman Paladins 26-20 to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

With the game tied 17-17, Samford grabbed the lead for good on a 29-yard TD pass from quarterback Devlin Hodges to wide receiver Kelvin McKnight.

After trading field goals in the fourth quarter, Bulldogs linebacker Shaheed Salmon intercepted Furman quarterback PJ Blazejowski’s pass to seal the win.

 

UAB and South Alabama Pummeled on the Road

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Both UAB and South Alabama played their worst games of the season in blowout losses on the road.

UAB saw their three-game winning streak come to an end in a 36-7 thrashing at the hands of the Florida Gators.

The Blazers scored their only points of the game on a 74-yard scoring strike from quarterback A.J. Erdely to wide receiver Xavier Ubosi early in the fourth quarter.

UAB struggled all night long recording just eight first downs and three yards rushing for the game.

South Alabama crashed and burned to Georgia Southern 52-0. It was the first win of the season for Georgia Southern and the first time in program history that South Alabama was shut out in a game.

Georgia Southern built a 21-0 lead as they held the ball for over 11 minutes of the first quarter.

For the game, the Eagles racked up 356 of their 583 yards on the ground while the Jaguars managed only 195 yards of total offense and 10 first downs.

 

Weekend Scores

 

#1 Alabama                     56           Mercer                               0

#6 Auburn                        42           Louisiana-Monroe           14

Florida                              36           UAB                                  7

Georgia Southern             52           South Alabama                 0

Jacksonville State             36           Tennessee State              6

Samford                            26           Furman                           20

Alabama State                  16           Mississippi Valley State  10

Alabama A&M                   21           Kentucky State               13

Berry                                  34          Huntingdon College        20                              (NCAA Division III Playoffs: 1st Round)