What an impressive showing by the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, the result of the game did not favor Auburn, as they fell to Mississippi State on Saturday, 39-33 in overtime.
The loss is Auburn’s fifth in a row, and it drops the Tigers’ record to 3-6 on the season.
Although the record books show the result as a loss, but Auburn improved in a handful of areas. From second-half adjustments, to an improved turnover ratio, Auburn played like a different team from the one that has played over the previous four weeks.
Here’s a look at the winners and losers from Auburn’s tough overtime loss at Mississippi State.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Most of Auburn’s downside on the defensive side of the football has been its’ lack of creating turnovers.
Prior to the game at Mississippi State, Auburn had just recovered six turnovers. Saturday’s game would see the Tigers recover two fumbles and an interception, and was +2 in the turnover category.
Loser: Anders Carlson
Zach Bland/ AU Athletics
The tough luck surrounding [autotag]Anders Carlson[/autotag] showed up again at a crucial time.
Carlson connected on kicks of 27 and 42 yards respectively in the first half, but did not succeed on a kick from 38 yards out in overtime. The missed kick puts him at 10-of-14 on the season.
Winner: Second half production
Justin Ford/Getty Images
To go along with the positive turnover margin, Auburn showed improvement in another aspect, second half adjustments.
After trailing the Bulldogs 24-6 at halftime, Auburn outscored Mississippi State 27-15 in the second half.
Loser: Offensive line
Justin Ford/Getty Images
Auburn was able to find ways to put points on the board, especially in the 2nd half. However, there were still plenty of concerns from Auburn’s offensive performance.
Quarterback Robby Ashford completed 7-of-22 passes for 75 yards, and was sacked four times. Tank Bigsby rushed for just 89 yards in the game as well.
If Ashford has more time to pass, and Bigsby has clearer gaps to burst through, Auburn will be in a better position to win.
Winner: Carnell Williams
Todd Van Emst/ AU Athletics
What an impressive debut for Auburn interim head coach Cadillac Williams.
After a slow first half, Williams directed the Tigers to an overtime tilt with Mississippi State. Following the game, Williams took accountability for the loss.
Cadillac Williams, in his sixth day as Auburn's interim coach, takes accountability for the Tigers' loss: "That started with myself. That's not on all these kids. They fought their tails off. I could have done some things better."
— Nathan King (@NathanKing247) November 6, 2022
The players showed more fight and joy than they have all season long, and most of that can be credited to Coach Williams.