Georgia uses late touchdown to take down Auburn in dramatic fashion

Auburn running back Jarquez Hunter (27) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown...
Auburn running back Jarquez Hunter (27) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against Georgia during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill )(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 6:06 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - On Saturday, the Auburn Tigers welcomed in the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs for the latest edition of the deep south’s oldest rivalry. The Tigers led all the up until the fourth quarter, when Georgia was able to find some space in the Auburn defense. In the end, the Tigers fell to Georgia in a closely contested game by a score of 27-20

Both offenses came out flat on their opening drives, but the Tiger offense bounced back on their next possession. Fueled by a 61-yard Payton Thorne run, Auburn went 84 yards downfield, looking for the game’s first points. They did just that, but instead of a touchdown, they settled with a 27-yard Alex McPherson field goal.

When Georgia took the field looking for an answer, Auburn star defensive back Jaylin Simpson had other plans. Simpson somehow came down with a one-handed interception while the receiver locked one of his arms up as they went to the ground.

Seven plays later, the Auburn offense turned that turnover into points when Jarquez Hunter muscled his way into the endzone from the Georgia five-yard line.

Georgia, now down by 10, sent the offense back on the field and finally found a way through the Auburn defense with a balanced run-pass attack. They closed out the drive with a two-yard Daijun Edwards touchdown run, and the top team in the nation was now only down by three.

Later in the second quarter, Georgia added a field goal when the Auburn defense came up with a red zone stop, and the team went into the half all locked up at 10 points.

The second half started out excellent for the Tigers. On the first play of the half, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck found Oscar Delp for a seven-yard gain. However, Delp fumbled the ball, and the Auburn defense came out with it, giving them the ball on the Georgia 25.

Auburn sent Robbie Ashford out to start this drive, and Ashford exploded for an 18-yard run to start the drive, and two plays later, he found the endzone, giving the Tigers back the lead early in the second half.

Later in the third quarter, Georgia’s offense found their rhythm. Beck completed multiple passes for 10 or more yards and was able to gain yardage with his legs. The drive was capped off with a 13-yard Daijun Edwards 13-yard touchdown run, and the game was tied right back up.

Georgia took their first lead of the game with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game when they went 91 yards down the field on the back of Carson Beck. However, they wouldn’t get into the endzone and had to settle for a field goal instead.

Auburn answered right back on the following drive. The Georgia defense halted Auburn’s progress before they got into the red zone, and the Tigers settled with a game-tying field goal with under three minutes remaining.

Beck and the Georgia offense came back onto the field, and Beck would not be denied. Beck went 4/5 and 78 yards on what would turn out to be the game-winning drive. Beck finished the drive off, finding an open Brock Bowers, and Bowers rumbled 40 yards into the endzone.

The Tigers had one more chance at tying things back up and forcing overtime, but the reigning two-time national champions came down with a clutch interception on fourth and nine, ultimately ending the game.

Despite a valiant effort, Auburn’s streak of four straight home wins against a number one team ended Saturday evening. The Tigers will be back at it in two weeks when they travel over to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers in Death Valley.

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