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Outback Bowl Recap: Auburn Loses 34-31 to Wisconsin.

The Tigers close out the 2014 season with a loss in the Outback Bowl.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Is there an Auburn senior you've really been pulling for that you wanted to step up in a big way today? Odds are they probably did.

Jermaine Whitehead - who sat out 1/3 of the season from a suspension - had multiple interceptions. Converted WR Trovon Reed pulled one down. Quan Bray made a number of good catches. Nick Marshall threw perhaps the prettiest ball of his career in a deep TD pass to Ricardo Louis. CJ Uzomah caught a double pump TD pass reminiscent of the game-winning catch against Mississippi State in 2013.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin finally realized they didn't need to throw the football and just started feeding the football to Melvin Gordon rather than throwing it. Auburn's passing defense actually played well, but the rushing attack of Wisconsin absolutely gouged the Tigers. Wisconsin had 300 yards rushing by the end of the 3rd quarter. Melvin Gordon ran for more yards against Auburn's defense than any single player has ever.

The second half was nothing if not exciting. Both teams went back and forth with the scoring. Auburn's defense kept shooting itself in the foot with stupid penalties, but it came up big on the final drive by Wisconsin to force the field goal to send the game to over time.

There's just something about Auburn in Tampa that makes games get weird. This was certainly that way, too. In the end, Auburn's normally reliable field goal kicker missed two kicks, including the kick in overtime that should have sent it to a second overtime period.

Auburn's offense did what it had to do, but sometimes Gus Malzahn got in his own way with the play calling. Auburn's defense showed exactly why a change in defensive coordinator was needed and allowed Wisconsin to pound the football down their throats.

A tough loss. A tough way to end the season.

War Eagle, always.