No. 15 Auburn overcomes 5 turnovers to beat Mercer 24-10

Auburn turned in another ugly offensive performance.

This time, the No. 15 Tigers couldn’t pin it on their opponent.

In an inexcusable display of sloppiness, Auburn turned the ball over five times — four fumbles and an interception — but still managed to win only because it was going against an overmatched opponent. A 24-10 victory over FCS school Mercer on Saturday provided little reason to believe that coach Gus Malzahn’s team is ready to challenge Alabama’s dominance in the Southeastern Conference.

Kamryn Pettway ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns , while Jason Stidham completed 32 of 37 for 364 yards.

But this is not exactly what the Tigers (2-1) were looking for after being held without a touchdown in a 14-6 loss at third-ranked Clemson the previous week.

“Obviously, it was a little sloppy,” Malzahn said in quite an understatement. “It kind of snowballed on us.”

Mercer, which only resumed its football program five years ago and plays a division down in the Southern Conference, gave the Tigers all they could handle, much to a chagrin of a disgruntled crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium — many of whom didn’t bother returning to their seats after a lackluster first half in which the home team led only 10-3.

Auburn’s woes could be attributed largely…

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