Okay, we’re in it now.
In case you haven’t gone through one of these (assuming you weren’t with us two years ago), it’s about to be FlightTracker season on the Plains... again.
Auburn fell to Penn State today in one of the worst home performances in recent memory, with the Nittany Lions blasting the Tigers 41-12 in front of a fully-frothed orange crowd.
The Tigers were doomed by turnovers on offense, and the lack thereof on the defensive side of the ball, and they couldn’t seem to figure out the balanced attack from Penn State and Sean Clifford. Unlike a year ago, Auburn did not keep it close, and only scored a touchdown once the game was fully out of reach.
Furthermore, the team seemed to lose its composure at times, starting fights after the play multiple times, and jawing at Penn State players while down big. It was the look of a team that was totally unprepared from the start, and a team with much less talent than that of its opponent.
Auburn somehow scored first, stopping Penn State with one of the few highlights of the day, an Owen Pappoe forced fumble on a Sean Clifford scramble, and then the Tigers stuffed PSU on fourth down one play later. T.J. Finley got the start again and led Auburn into the red zone, where the Tigers settled for a field goal to go up 3-0 with 8:20 left in the first quarter.
Penn State answered, however, with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that included a couple of impressive completions to Mitchell Tinsley. Once inside the 10-yard line, Clifford ran right up the middle for a 7-yard score to put Penn State on top for good. Auburn answered with another field goal drive on a 67-yard jaunt that ended with another non-touchdown trip into the redzone. Penn State did not give ground, though, and answered with another long touchdown drive right at the end of the half. going 11 plays and 68 yards to notch a Kaytron Allen touchdown run from a couple yards away. Auburn had a chance to make something happen at the end of the half, after a 37-yard catch and run from Tank Bigsby, but then T.J. Finley was sacked and fumbled as time ran out on the next play, and we went to the half with Auburn down 14-6.
After the intermission, things went from bad to worse. Auburn started with the ball, but went three-and-out before Penn State started to blow the game open. Nicholas Singleton ran for 53 yards around right end, and then punched in the Lions’ third touchdown of the day from a couple yards out on the next play. 21-6 Penn State. They’d score on the next four drives as well, going field goal, touchdown (Kaytron Allen 6-yard rush), touchdown (Singleton 54-yard rush), and field goal. Auburn finally broke into the end zone on a touchdown pass from Robby Ashford to Jarquez Hunter, where Hunter hurdled a defender and outraced another to the pylon. The clock mercifully ran out soon thereafter and Penn State fans got to celebrate in a stadium that had emptied much earlier.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
I dunno. Jarquez Hunter played hard and scored the game’s only touchdown for Auburn, and Tank ran hard, but he didn’t get the opportunities he needed to make this thing close at all.
Auburn gets Missouri at home for the fourth game of the opening homestand. The Tigers and Tigers will be battling to start the day on ESPN, with kickoff coming from Jordan-Hare Stadium at 11:00 am CST/12:00 pm EST.