Auburn rallies to avoid upset, beats Georgia State with late score

AUBURN, Alabama — Bryan Harsin might have a new starting quarterback — and more importantly, Auburn has a win.

Thanks to a heroic effort by backup quarterback T.J. Finley, including a go-ahead touchdown pass on fourth down with 45 seconds left, Auburn escaped an upset Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium, beating Georgia State 34-24. The Tigers added another touchdown after Finley’s score thanks to a pick-six by Smoke Monday.

In case you missed our live updates, here’s a rundown of the action.

FOURTH QUARTER

0:31 4Q: Smoke Monday pick-six. TOUCHDOWN (Auburn 34, Georgia State 24)

0:45 4Q: Finley scrambles and finds Shedrick Jackson for a TOUCHDOWN on fourth down. (Auburn 27, Georgia State 24, 2-point conversion GOOD)

0:53 4Q: Fourth-and-9 upcoming from the 10 yards out.

1:13 4Q: Finley finds John Samuel Shenker for 19 yards inside the 15-yard line.

1:19 4Q: Finley hits Elijah Canion on the sideline for a first down inside the 35.

1:47 4Q: Finley scrambles across midfield for a first down.

2:25 4Q: Finley moves the chains on third down with a throw to Hudson.

3:23 4Q: After the punt, Auburn has 98 yards and three timeouts to take the lead.

4:04 4Q: Georgia State gets a couple first downs, but T.D. Moultry gets a sack and forces the punt.

5:27 4Q: Grainger picks up 22 yards on a scramble for Georgia State.

6:43 4Q: Tank Bigsby fumbles at Georgia State’s 31-yard line and Georgia State recovers.

7:42 4Q: Two nifty plays from Finley convert a pair of third downs and move Auburn into Georgia State territory. Kobe Hudson is down on the field after the most recent completion.

9:46 4Q: Auburn’s defense forces its fourth straight three-and-out.

11:35 4Q: Auburn’s offensive line is still getting manhandled, and Auburn goes three-and-out.

13:40 4Q: Another quick three-and-out forced by Auburn’s defense.

14:50 4Q: Finley can’t convert on third down, and Anders Carlson misses a 40-yard field goal.

THIRD QUARTER

0:00 3Q: Auburn will have a third-and8 at GSU’s 23-yard line at the start of the third quarter.

1:21 3Q: Finley completes on the sideline to Ze’Vian Capers, and Georgia State is called for a late hit. Auburn is inside GSU’s 40-yard line.

3:10 3Q: T.J. Finley checks in for Nix at quarterback.

3:52 3Q: Smoke Monday hits Grainger in the open field, and Georgia State is set to go three-and-out again.

5:21 3Q: Auburn blocks the punt and recovers it for a TOUCHDOWN. After an Eku Leota sack, Caylin Newton blocked the punt and walk-on linebacker Barton Lester recovered. (Georgia State 24, Auburn 19)

6:43 3Q: Still nothing for Auburn’s offense. Student section is chanting to bring out backup QB T.J. Finley. Tigers to punt.

8:19 3Q: Sophomore defensive tackle Zykeivous Walker comes out of the locker room with his right arm in a sling. Meanwhile, Georgia State will punt after Auburn gets a stop on third-and-6.

10:40 3Q: Colby Wooden smacks into Grainger and forces a fumble, but GSU’s offensive line recovers.

11:11 3Q: Already a pair of third-down conversions for Georgia State on this drive. 

12:34 3Q: Zakoby McClain is back in the game for Auburn after serving his first-half suspension.

13:32 3Q: Bigsby is hit in the backfield on third-and-short. Tigers go three-and-out to open the second half.

SECOND QUARTER

0:00 2Q: Tigers head to the break to plenty of boos in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

0:59 2Q: The ball is snapped to Nix before he calls for it, and the Tigers’ third-down play is blown up. Auburn punts again.

1:57 2Q: Georgia State scores on a 50-yard touchdown run. He was barely touched right up the middle. TOUCHDOWN (Georgia State 24, Auburn 12)

2:54 2Q: Auburn linebacker Desmond Tisdol is hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty, so Georgia State starts this possession at its own 40-yard line.

2:59 2Q: Nix is pressured on third down again and has to throw it away. Anders Carlson is good from 45 yards. FIELD GOAL (Georgia State 17, Auburn 12)

4:01 2Q: Nix hits Hudson for 17 yards inside the 30-yard line.

7:29 2Q: Grainger finds his tight end wide-open. TOUCHDOWN (Georgia State 17, Auburn 9)

7:58 2Q: Grainger scrambles, and GSU has a first-and-goal.

8:29 2Q: A first-down run and a pass interference have Georgia State already across midfield.

8:42 2Q: Auburn DT Zykeivous Walker walks off under his own power after he was down for a minute following the play.

9:00 2Q: Nix is brought down scrambling on third down, and the Tigers will settle for another short FIELD GOAL (Georgia State 10, Auburn 9)

11:06 2Q: Jarquez Hunter scampers for 28 yards inside the red zone.

12:02 2Q: Nix hits Kobe Hudson on third down for a pickup of 29 yards into Georgia State territory.

12:45 2Q: Darren Grainger finds a wide-open target for 12 yards and a TOUCHDOWN (Georgia State 10, Auburn 6)

FIRST QUARTER

0:00 1Q: Georgia State will start the second quarter with a third-and-1 at Auburn’s 32-yard line.

0:53 1Q: Georgia State is across midfield with its third first down of the drive.

3:07 1Q: Two straight high throws in the back of the end zone, and Auburn will kick a field goal inside the 10-yard line. FIELD GOAL (Auburn 6, Georgia State 3).

4:02 1Q: Auburn has a first-and-goal from the 6-yard line after Bigsby picks up 12 yards.

5:28 1Q: Shaun Shivers picks up 27 yards on an end around to put Auburn inside GSU’s 40-yard line.

6:45 1Q: Ja’Varrius Johnson returns the punt into GSU territory, but a blocking penalty on Barton Lester brings it back inside Auburns’ 30.

6:59 1Q: Georgia State goes three-and-out again. Roger McCreary had good coverage down the sideline on third-and-4.

7:34 1Q: Auburn’s offense does nothing with the field position and settles for a field goal. FIELD GOAL (Auburn 3, Georgia State 3).

8:24 1Q: Nehemiah Pritchett returns the kickoff 72 yards to give Auburn great field position for its second drive.

8:39 1Q: Colby Wooden makes a big hit on the backfield on third down, and Georgia State settles for the short field goal. The Panthers miss the field goal, but the officials call a delay of game right as the ball is snapped. The second time around, the kick is good. FIELD GOAL (Georgia State 3, Auburn 0).

10:44 1Q: Tucker Gregg rips off a 58-yard run for Georgia State, now inside Auburn’s red zone.

11:22 1Q: Tank Bigsby moves the chains for one first down, but that’s it. Tigers to punt.

13:58 1Q: Auburn’s defense gets a three-and-out on its first possession. Tigers will start inside their own 15.

15:00 1Q: Auburn wins the toss and defers. Georgia State starts with the football.

About the author: Mark Witcher

Typical thinker. Devoted web specialist. Friendly troublemaker. Zombie maven. Music junkie. Twitter guru.

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