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No. 23 Auburn pulls away to win 30-17 over Tennessee

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November 21, 2020;  Auburn AL, USA;  Anthony Schwartz (1) runs the ball during the game between Auburn and Tennesee at Jordan Hare Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood / AU Athletics

Shanna Lockwood / AU Athletics

November 21, 2020; Auburn AL, USA; Anthony Schwartz (1) runs the ball during the game between Auburn and Tennesee at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood / AU Athletics

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Game overview: football | | By Greg Ostendorf

AUBURN, Ala. Coaching in his 100th game at Auburn on Saturday, head coach Gus Malzahn took another victory when the Tigers defeated Tennessee 30-17 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“I am really proud of our team,” said Malzahn. “It was a quality win against a talented team.”

It was Auburn’s first game in 21 days, and there may have been some rust early on, as the home side trailed 10-0 in the first quarter. But the Tigers responded with 27 unanswered runs and played on all three stages to withdraw in the second half for their third straight win.

“Not playing in 21 days is extremely challenging,” said Malzahn. “We knew it would be, but our boys showed a lot of struggle. They showed a lot of character. The first quarter was ugly on our side. We were sleepwalking a little bit. But they turned the switch, and the last three quarters we played well Auburn football. “

Gallery: (11/21/2020) Auburn 30, Tennessee 17

The biggest action of the evening came from the Auburn defenses late in the third quarter. With the Tigers ahead 13-10 and Tennessee at risk of scoring, safety for juniors Smoke Monday intercepted a pass from Jarrett Guarantano in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.

“That changed the dynamics of the game,” said Malzahn. Owen (Pappoo) got pressure on the quarterback, hit him and then Smoke got ahead. We got a good block over the 20-yard line and he went home with it.

It was Monday’s second career pick-six, and it was the longest interception yield for a touchdown by an Auburn player since Zakoby McClain took back 100 meters against Alabama last year.

After the defense held up on the next drive, it was the attack’s turn to put the game aside. The Tigers went 80 yards on 12 plays, and DJ Williams ended the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 27-10. Williams had 38 yards in the driveway and led Auburn’s ground attack with 66 yards on 11 carriers.

Williams and backfield counterpart Shaun Shivers, which ended with 65 rushing yards, picked up the slack with freshmen Tank Bigsby forced to leave the game in the first quarter.

“We knew both guys could do it in a big game,” said Malzahn. “Throughout their career they have played really well. It didn’t surprise us at all. They are both really good backs.”

Quarterback Bo Nix also had to shake off some rust on Saturday, but after struggling in the first quarter he came into contact with Anthony Schwartz on a 54 yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter to put the Tigers on the board. It was the second game in a row the two have played at a touchdown of 50 yards or more, and it was Schwartz’s third score of the season.

“That’s what you live for as a quarterback,” Nix said. ‘I couldn’t get the ball to him fast enough. But if someone runs wide open like him, don’t knock him over. ‘

For Nix, it was the spark he needed. The sophomore signal caller was 15 out of 19 for 189 yards after the first quarter, and in addition to the touchdown, he completed multiple passes to convert to the third down and kept driving. Auburn was 9 of 15 in third place for the game and 6 of 8 in the second half.

While Schwartz led the team with 84 yards receiving co-wide receiver Seth Williams finished with 52 yards receiving and had team-high five receptions, including four in third place that resulted in first downs for the Tigers.

On special teams, Otherwise Carlson made all three shots for a field goal. He made a tie with a 25-yard kick late in the first half, then gave Auburn a 13-10 lead when he hit a 27-yarder in the middle of the third quarter. the last minutes. It was his longest kick of the season and the fourth of 50 meters or more in his career.

With the win, Auburn improves to 5-2 in the season. The Tigers will play the first of three remaining games in Alabama next week. The kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT and the game will air on CBS.

TEAM NOTES

  • Captains: KJ Britt, Big Cat Bryant, Bo Nix, Shaun Shivers
  • Coin Toss: Auburn wins the toss and postponement. Tennessee will receive
  • Attendance: 17,490
  • Miss Homecoming: Madison Birckhead (Charlottesville, VA)
  • First starters for Auburn: none
  • Auburn scored in 100 consecutive games, the second longest streak in school history
  • Auburn’s Homecoming Record is 82-8-4; the Tigers have won their last 29 Homecoming games
  • After 100 games as Auburn head coach, Gus Malzahn is 64-33 in total

INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS / VIOLATION

  • Seth Williams now has 1,927 career hosting yards, ranking ninth among Auburn career leaders; next is Freddy Weygand (1946 from 1984-88
  • Seth Williams is 8th all-time in career receptions with 118, two ahead of teammate Eli Cooker (116); they passed Darvin Adams (115 from 2008-10) and Rodgeriqus Smith (114 from 2004-08). Anthony Schwartz is 12th in Auburn career receptions with 104, past Greg Taylor (102 from 1987-90)
  • Schwartz ranks 23rd in Auburn career, taking yards with 1,303 yards, past Thomas Bailey (1,243 from 1991-94)
  • Schwartz ’54 yard-touchdown reception Bo Nix was his second longest of the season (91 vs. LSU) and the second longest reception of his career vs. Tennessee (76m by Jarrett Stidham vs. Tennessee in 2018)
  • Bo Nix has 10 touchdown passes for the season and 26 for his career
  • This was Nix’s ninth pass game at 200 meters
  • Eli Cooker ranks 27th in Auburn career, receiving yardage with 1,076 yards, past Willie Gosha (1,048 from 1993-96)
  • DJ Williams scored his second hasty touchdown of the season and the fourth of his career

INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS / DEFENSE

  • Smoke Monday The 100-meter touchdown with interception was the longest of his career, and his second career pick was six; the first was a 29-yard INT touchdown against Alabama last season. It was the longest interception touchdown by an Auburn player since then Zakoby McClain against Alabama last season
  • Owen Pappoe takes up double digit tackles for fourth game of his career and was Auburn’s best tackler for the fourth time in his career
  • Jamien Sherwood now has 2.5 career pockets
  • Big Cat Bryant now has 8.0 career pockets

INDIVIDUAL NOTES / SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Otherwise Carlson is now 8th in his career at Auburn with 243 points, passing Al Del Greco (236 from 1980-83)
  • Carlson is now 6th in career PAT made in Auburn with 111, past Al Del Greco (110 from 1980-83)
  • Carlson made 6th in Auburn career goals with 44, past Al Del Greco (42 from 1980-83); the following are Damon Duval (45 from 1999-2002) and Win Lyle (45 from 1987-89)
  • Carlson’s 50-yard field goal was his longest of the season and the fourth by 50 yards or longer in his career



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