Strong start for Johnson

AUBURN, Ala. -- Jeremy Johnson didn’t look like a true freshman starting his first career game at quarterback Saturday.

Johnson had a big first start/Todd Van Emst photo

A poised and confident Johnson completed 17-of-21 passes for 201 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in his first college game, leading Auburn to a 62-3 win over Western Carolina at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Johnson rolled out and found fullback Jay Prosch from eight yards out for his first career touchdown pass to give Auburn a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

He added a 46-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo Louis later in the first, a 22-yard touchdown to another true freshman, Tony Stevens, in the second and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Quan Bray on the Tigers’ first series of the third quarter.

Auburn set a new team record with 712 total yards against the FCS Catamounts to move its record to 5-1 overall. WCU was held to 173 yards and fell to 1-6.

Auburn ran at will against WCU, finishing with 511 rushing yards, the second-most in Auburn history, and five touchdowns on 43 carries.

Cameron Artis-Payne led the way with 133 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Tre Mason added 100 yards on six carries, including touchdowns runs of 20 and 53 yards, all in the first half.

Corey Grant finished with 83 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Bray led Auburn with four receptions for 20 yards. Louis, Stevens and Melvin Ray had three receptions apiece.

Auburn had four sacks in the game, one apiece from Dee Ford, Justin Delaine, JaBrian Niles and Elijah Daniel.

Auburn returns to SEC action next Saturday as the Tigers visit No. 9 Texas A&M. The game will be carried on CBS at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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