NASHVILLE – The Auburn Tigers (6-7) looked lost as they suffered a 31-13 defeat against the Maryland Terrapins (8-5).
Maryland got off to a quick 21-0 lead, but an 80-yard drive from Auburn that ended with a touchdown pass from Payton Thorne to Brandon Frazier in the second quarter put Auburn on the board and kept it a game.
That was short-lived, however, as Auburn did not score again until halfway through the fourth quarter. Maryland on the other hand kept its foot on the gas and earned a decisive victory.
What are the biggest takeaways from the game?
Auburn could not overcome its slow start
Auburn's first three drives resulted in two punts and a turnover on downs. The first two drives totaled 13 yards.
On the other hand, Maryland wasted no time getting started, and Auburn could never catch up.
Slow starts were a common problem for Auburn this season, and a lasting solution was never found.
Payton Thorne struggled
Thorne went 13-27 for 84 yards, along with one touchdown and one interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Hank Brown played well when he was put into the game in the fourth quarter. Brown went 7-9 for 132 yards.
Auburn will have an interesting offseason at the quarterback position.
Auburn turned the ball over excessively
In addition to Thorne's interception, quarterback Holden Geriner also threw one.
Auburn also had a fumble on a kick return and a muffed punt.
Ball security has not been a constant issue for Auburn this season, but it has sometimes cost the Tigers.
Auburn's defense showed up in the second half
Maryland's offense could do whatever it wanted in the first half and held a 24-7 lead at halftime.
The second half, however, was a different story, as Auburn only allowed seven points. The Tigers made Maryland work for every yard.
Auburn's loss means that it will have had three consecutive losing seasons.
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