Auburn’s season appears to have ran out of luck on The Plains. One week removed from a loss at Mississippi State where the offense only generated nine points, the Tigers continue to struggle primarily on the offensive side of the ball.
After an impressive 14 play, 75 yard drive to start the game, capped off by a Chandler Cox TD plunge, the offense seemed to be back in a rhythm. Tennessee responded in the second quarter with a 42 yard TD pass to a wide open Ty Chandler, tying the game up 10-10.
Stidham then hit freshman WR Anthony Schwartz for a 76 yard TD pass and Auburn took a 17-13 lead into the half. The second half was a complete disaster however. Auburn could not mustard any scoring drives until the final minute of the game and missed a field goal that would have made the game one possession.
Even though Auburn ended up with 448 yards of total offense, they had 3 turnovers all from Stidham. One of them ended up being the capper, a fumble return touchdown making the game 27-17 late in the third. Tennessee ended up adding a field goal and won the game 30-24.
For Tennessee, this win breaks an 11-game SEC losing streak and is Pruitt's first signature win of his head coaching career. For Auburn, their record now sits at 4-3 and it is safe to say that any championship goals that were aspired at the beginning of the season are over.
After the game, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said:
“I’m very disappointed, but I will say this, our kids fought to the end. I’m proud of our kids’ fight, but obviously, this is a disappointing loss at home. We give Tennessee credit and congratulate them. They had a good plan and their kids fought hard and found a way to win. Like I said, they protected the football and we didn’t. I think at the end of the day, that was really the determining factor of why we lost.”
Coming up next week is a road game against Ole Miss (4-2, 0-2 SEC), who play Arkansas tonight at 6:30pm and whose only losses are to Alabama and LSU.