Auburn somehow beats Missouri thanks to missed FG, improbable overtime fumble

Missouri found a new way to blow a game on Saturday versus Auburn.

It was an ugly game that went the entire second half without a single point. Missouri had the chance to win with a chip shot field goal in the final seconds, but a 26-yard try from the usually reliable Harrison Mevis was pushed right.

That sent the game to overtime, where something crazy happened. Auburn went ahead 17-14 with a field goal to open the extra frame, giving Missouri another chance to win the game.

On the second play of Missouri’s possession, Nathaniel Peat looked destined for the end zone. He busted through the line and went down the left side toward the pylon. He reached for the end zone, but fumbled the ball before sustaining any contact from an Auburn defender.

The ball bounced loose into the end zone and Auburn recovered to cap off a wild 17-14 victory.

It was a wacky way to end a game that featured some horrific offensive play. Auburn jumped out to a 14-0 lead and Missouri tied it right before halftime.

The first 12 possessions of the second half resulted in punts, but both teams had a chance to end the game in the final minutes of regulation.

After regaining possession with 3:25 remaining, Auburn moved all the way to the Missouri 29. Instead of trying a field goal, Tank Bigsby was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 run after quarterback Robby Ashford slid a yard short of a first down on the previous play.

That gave the ball back to Missouri with 1:28 to play. Missouri had gone three-and-out on five of its previous six possessions but managed to march deep into Auburn territory, this time thanks to a 39-yard connection between Brady Cook and Dominic Lovett down to the 3-yard line.

That allowed Missouri to center the ball and run the clock down to just two seconds, giving Mevis a chance to win the game from just 26 yards out.

Instead, disaster struck as Mevis pushed the kick to the right, sending the game to overtime still tied 14-14.

Mevis was 45-of-51 for his career on field goals entering Saturday's game, including a perfect 10-of-10 on kicks between 20 and 29 yards. This time, with the game on the line, he missed and Missouri fell to 2-2 on the year.

That miss — and the subsequent overtime fumble — could allow Auburn coach Bryan Harsin to live another day. Fair or not, Harsin entered the 2022 season with one of the hottest seats in the country despite being in just his second season.

Auburn was blown out at home by Penn State last week and it has seemed inevitable that the school will part ways with Harsin. It's no secret that many big-money boosters on The Plains never wanted Harsin when former Auburn athletic director Allen Greene brought him in from Boise State and a loss to Missouri would have made things even uglier.

Auburn is now 3-1 but has games against LSU, Georgia and Ole Miss in the next three weeks. Harsin’s fate could come down to the team’s performances in the weeks ahead.

Auburn linebacker Derick Hall (29) carries the ball as Missouri offensive lineman Javon Foster (76) tries to tackle him after an interception during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)