By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Jeremy Johnson went out in style in his last game in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Auburn senior quarterback ran a touchdown and threw for another in the game's first six minutes and accounted for three touchdowns in all to lead the Tigers to a 55-0 Senior Day victory over Alabama A&M, the last stop before next Saturday's Iron Bowl date with Alabama.
Johnson, subbing for the injured Sean White, was playing in his just his third game of the year after starting most of the games last year.
He wasn't at all rusty, hitting seven of his first eight passes. He finished rushing for two touchdowns and passed for another. His backup, John Franklin III, was just as sporty, as was backup running back Kam Martin and a lot of other Tigers. Don't forget the defense. It was Auburn's first shutout since 2008.
"It's very hard to shut people out in college football," said coach Gus Malzahn. "The defense played great all year. To get a shutout the last game is really special."
Auburn improved to 8-3, gaining 598 yards in the process. Alabama A&M, limited to 130 yards, fell to 4-7.
Auburn honored Johnson and 19 other seniors, and redshirt junior Carl Lawson, in pregame Senior Day ceremonies. Johnson took it all to heart. Kam Martin, too, who rushed for 172 yards, all in the second half.
"I think you can see he's got some talent," Malzahn said. "It is good for him to get out there and show what he can do. He is really quick. He has got good vision. He really protected the football."
The Tigers didn't fool around, scoring on their first two possessions with Johnson looking sharp from the game's first play. He was 13-of-18 passing at the half despite a couple of drops. He finished hitting 14 of 19 passes for 147 yards, and rushed for 42 yards for good measure.
Johnson accounted for two early touchdowns, one on a 7-yard run, another on a 14-yard pass to Kyle Davis.
"We are very proud of Jeremy, "Malzahn said. "He did an excellent job. He was really efficient in throwing the football and did a really good job leading the offense."
Kerryon Johnson scored on a 2-yard run with 3:51 left in the second quarter, and Daniel Carlson's 41-yard field goal two minutes later made it 24-0 at halftime.
Jeremy Johnson scored on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter to make it 31-0.
Reserve quarterback John Franklin III replaced Johnson and promptly ripped off a 45-yard run. Martin scored on an 18-yard run on the next play to make it 38-0. Franklin raced 39 yards for a touchdown just a few minutes later.
Malzahn said Franklin "can really run, there's no doubt about that. He made some good reads and he's a good change of pace. When he comes into the game, it's a little bit different, and a lot of times the defense plays a little bit different. I thought he did a good job of managing the offense when he was in and made some really good explosive plays when he was in."
Daniel Carlson hit a 19-yard field goal to make it 48-0 with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Martin scored again on 17-yard with 9:52 remaining. That was plenty.
Auburn didn't have SEC leading rusher Kamryn Pettway for the second straight game, so the Tigers turned to Kerryon Johnson to carry the load in the first half. He carried it 18 times for 108 yards. Jeremy Johnson rushed for 39 more.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine