Late TD pass lifts No. 23 Auburn past Georgia State

Shedrick Jackson, Football: Auburn vs Georgia State

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics


Georgia St. GSU 1-3 , 0-0


Auburn AUB 3-1 , 0-0

Score By Quarters
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
GSU Georgia St. 3 21 0 0 24
AUB Auburn 6 6 7 15 34

Game Recap: Football | | By: Jeff Shearer

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AUBURN, Ala. – T.J. Finley’s 10-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 45 seconds left capped a 98-yard drive to give No. 23 Auburn a 34-24 comeback victory Saturday over Georgia State on Homecoming. 

Backed up at its 2-yard-line and trailing 24-19 with 3:23 to play, Jarquez Hunter gave Auburn breathing room with an 18-yard run. 

Finley, who relieved Bo Nix in the second half, hit Kobe Hudson for 15 yards on third-and-11, then Finley rushed for 16 yards to cross midfield.

Finley connected with Elijah Canion for 12 yards to GSU’s 30, then hit John Samuel Shenker for 19 yards to the 11 with 1:19 remaining.

Three plays netted 1 yard, setting up the stage for Finley and Jackson’s fourth-down heroics. Facing a GSU blitz, Finley avoided multiple rushers, stepping up in the pocket and firing off-balance to a leaping Jackson in the end zone to give Auburn a one-point lead in the final minute.

Finley hit Hudson for a 2-point conversion that gave Auburn a 27-24, then after an incomplete pass, Smoke Monday returned an interception 36 yards to secure victory for the Tigers.

Trailing 24-12 in the second half, Caylin Newton blocked a punt that Barton Lester recovered in the end zone for a touchdown that cut GSU’s lead to 24-19 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

Auburn’s defense forced four consecutive three-and-outs and shut out the Panthers in the second half.

Chandler Wooten made a career-high 12 tackles. T.D. Moultry recorded a career-high nine tackles, including two of Auburn’s 10 tackles for loss.

Anders Carlson kicked four first-half field goals to account for Auburn’s scoring before intermission.

After Georgia State took a 3-0 lead, Nehemiah Pritchett returned the kickoff 72 yards to set up Carlson’s game-tying 41-yard field goal. 

Auburn’s defense delivered a three-and-out, leading to Carlson’s 23-yard field goal that put the Tigers on top 6-3 after the first quarter. 

The visiting Panthers produced three touchdown drives in the second quarter, the first on a 12-yard pass from Darren Grainger to Jamari Thrash to retake a 10-6 lead. 

Carlson’s third field goal, a 28-yarder, trimmed GSU’s lead to 10-9 with 9 minutes left in the half.

Grainger threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Roger Carter to give Georgia State a 17-9 lead. 

Carlson’s fourth field goal with 2:54 left in the second quarter made it 17-12, but Tucker Gregg’s 50-yard touchdown run gave Georgia State a 24-12 halftime lead.

Auburn kicks off SEC play next Saturday at LSU at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN. 

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer

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