AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - In a battle of the tigers, Auburn won their third game of the season over Missouri 17-14 in an overtime thriller. Neither team played their best football, but with the help of the Jordan-Hare crowd, Auburn came out on top.
In week 3, Auburn quarterback, TJ Finley, injured his shoulder, forcing him to miss the Tigers' week four matchup against Missouri. In his absence, redshirt freshman, Robby Ashford, got the start at quarterback. He had appeared in all three of Auburn's games thus far but had not been the starter.
In his first career start, Ashford threw for 127 yards and rushed for 46. He capped off Auburn's first offensive drive with an 11-yard QB keeper that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Early in the game, it was clear what Auburn's game plan was: run the ball. They started the afternoon with 16 straight run plays before Ashford attempted his first pass. After completions to Camden Brown and Omari Kelly, running back Tank Bigsby closed out the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown run to put Auburn up 14-0.
Heading into Saturday, Auburn was one of just four programs that do not yet have a single turnover. In the first quarter, Derick Hall changed that. He was able to intercept a pass from Missouri quarterback Brady Cook after Nehemiah Pritchett deflected it. Hall also had two sacks and three tackles for a loss on the day.
Missouri scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter to even the score at 14-14 heading into halftime. The first came from running back Cody Schrader on an end around, and the second came from Cook on a fourth and one at the Auburn goal line.
The second half was sloppy for both teams leading to punt after punt. Auburn had a chance to take control of the game with under two minutes to play had they converted on a fourth and one. Offensive coordinator and play caller Eric Kiesau decided to hand the ball off on the fourth and short as the Tigers failed to convert and turned the ball over on downs.
Missouri then drove down the field and settled for what should have been a chip shot field goal to win the game. With three seconds left in regulation, the All-American Missouri kicker, Harrison Melvis, trotted out to attempt the game-winning field goal. As the Auburn crowd roared, Melvin pushed his 26-yard attempt wide right and missed to send the game to overtime.
In his postgame press conference, Bryan Harsin called the Auburn crowd "fantastic" and gave fans props for showing up early for the 11 am kickoff.
Auburn kicker, Anders Carlson, hit a 39-yard field goal to give the Tigers their first lead since the first quarter. Carlson was one for two on his field goal attempts Saturday. He missed the overtime kick at first, but it was called back for a Missouri offside.
On the ensuing possession, Missouri looked as though they were going to score the game-winning touchdown. Running back Nathaniel Peat dashed toward the endzone, but as he reached toward the goal line, the ball came loose, and Auburn recovered in the endzone.
"The ball bounced our way. We needed that turnover. Crazy finish. Both teams fighting hard to win the football game, and we were able to get it done," Harsin said.
This was a brutal end for Missouri as they had numerous chances to end the game and hand Auburn their second loss of the season. However, they could not do so, and Auburn came out on top.
This was a sloppy performance for Auburn regardless of the end result and still leaves many question marks for the team.
Auburn moves to 3-1 in 2022 and 1-0 in SEC play. The Tigers will play at home in week five versus LSU. That game is set to kick off at 6 pm.