No. 23 Auburn Overcame A Slow Start To Beat Tennessee 30-17
AUBURN, Ala.: Smoke Monday returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and No. 23 Auburn overcame a slow start to beat Tennessee 30-17 on Saturday night.
Auburn (5-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) fell behind 10-0 to Tennessee (2-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) and dealt with injuries to star running back Tank Bigsby and its two starting offensive tackles. The Tigers were playing their first game in 21 days after a scheduled off week and the postponement of a game at Mississippi State.
Bo Nix completed 17 of 26 passes for 220 yards, with a 54-yard touchdown to Anthony Schwartz and his first career interception in a home game. Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano started strong, but finished with only 156 yards of passing and the interception return for a touchdown that gave Auburn a two-score lead late in the third quarter.
Tennessee had its best offensive outing in weeks, yet struggled after halftime. The Volunteers have been outscored 108-14 in the second half during their five-game losing streak.
Tennessee: The Volunteers found some life against Auburns defense, with Eric Gray rushing for 173 yards and a late touchdown. But the second-half slumps continue to haunt a struggling Tennessee team that still has to play a pair of Top 10 opponents in Florida and Texas A&M.
Auburn: The Tigers looked rusty after the long layoff, and the early exit for Bigsby took some of the edge out of an offense that had hit his stride in its previous two games. Auburn will have to tighten up on both sides of the ball to have any chance of upsetting rival Alabama for the second straight season.
Auburn did not earn any style points, so Gus Malzahns team will most likely stay inside the 20s in the upcoming AP poll ahead of its trip to No. 1 Alabama.
Tennessee: At Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
Auburn: At Alabama on Saturday.