November 15, 2008

Auburn comes up short in redzone

The opportunities were there for Auburn against No. 13 Georgia Saturday.

AU's offense managed to score two touchdowns against the Bulldogs but came up short on four drives deep within UGA territory. Score on any one of those, and AU might have been able to pull off a big upset.

Instead, the Tigers fell 17-13, their third-straight loss to the Bulldogs and fifth defeat in the last six games.

"We just didn't make a few opportunities work for us on offense," AU head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "…Four times in the red zone and we didn't come away with any points.

"That can't happen in a game like that. We knew it would come down to the wire."

After punting on its first two drives, AU took a 6-0 lead on a 52-yard pass from Kodi Burns to Mario Fannin and looked to be driving for another score on the next possession.

Auburn marched 70 yards from its 16-yard line as offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger mixed in rushing and passing from quarterback Kodi Burns and a couple of nice runs by Mario Fannin.

But on second-and-six from the UGA 14-yard line, Burns dropped the ball when he was pulling it back to pass and the Bulldogs recovered the fumble on the 24-yard line.

AU marched 50 yards on six plays on its final drive of the half but Wes Byrum missed badly on a 42-yard field goal attempt.

Trailing 17-13 in the fourth quarter, AU put together two good drives but couldn't come up with the go-ahead points.

Facing a third-and-three at the UGA 21-yard line with 4:13 remaining, Tuberville initially called or a field goal but called time out and then sent the offense out on the field. The Tigers went for the endzone but Burns pass to Montez Billings was just out of reach.

"It was a good route, he had him beat but we didn't have enough air under the football," Ensminger said. "There were a couple of things Kodi made mistakes on today and that was one of them."

AU's defense came up with a stop and AU took over for a final chance at its own 20-yard line with 1:44 remaining. Burns calmly moved the Tigers down the field, completing three passes and rushing two times for 31 yards.

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