Tigers search for answers in 41-12 loss

Auburn falls to Penn State at Jordan-Hare Stadium
Auburn players enter Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday September 17, 2022
Auburn players enter Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday September 17, 2022(WAFF)
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It was the biggest game in Auburn Head Coach Bryan Harsin tenure as Head Coach of the Tigers. Auburn, Alabama was brimming with excitement leading into kickoff.

Auburn fans were encouraged to wear Orange for an Orange out across campus.. Auburn hosted several targeted recruits for the class of 2023 and beyond. The atmosphere prior to kickoff inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, electric. 87, 451 fans had hopes of a signature win.

Instead, Penn State did the talking. The Nittany Lions 245 yards rushing led to a 41-12 victory.

“I thought our crowd was fantastic,” Bryan Harsin said during his postgame press conference. “The energy, what they brought tonight and the environment. It was exactly what we thought it would be. We’re disappointed in the performance and we’re disappointed in the loss, obviously. You can look at the stats, it’s a pretty matter of fact. Football really comes down to the execution piece and we lost the turnover battle. That’s No. 1. Tackling, that is another area we can improve on.”

Auburn scored only six points in the first half. Quarterbacks TJ Finley and Robby Ashford combined for six sacks and two interceptions.

“He (TJ Finley) got banged up a good bit but that’s football,” Harsin added. “I don’t think that impacted that much of the decision to go with Robby (Ashford) at that point. T.J. (Finley) was trying to make plays at that point and Robby came in and did some good things for us. But it’s not enough. I think the key in this one here is that at halftime, it was 14-6 and the game was not out of hand. You’re not playing like you want to in the first half, but the game is still close. We have the chance to get the ball back. It comes back to us executing. But that decision was not necessarily because of how he landed. T.J. is a tough guy and showed toughness.”

The Tigers defense allowed 6.3 yards rushing, allowing Penn State’s offense to go 5 of 5 in the Red Zone.

“We didn’t execute the way we wanted to, defensively and offensively, Auburn Linebacker Derick Hall said after the game. “This team is going to stay together and keep working hard. We are going to continue to get better week-and-week out. We are going to go to work tomorrow and get back to work to get ready for Missouri.”

Auburn (2-1) host the Missouri Tigers Saturday, September 24th. Kickoff is set for 11 AM.