Bruised, beaten and battered, the Oregon Ducks ultimately allowed a game-winning touchdown with nine seconds remaining and lost to the Auburn Tigers 27-21.
The Ducks led 21-6 late in the third quarter, but Auburn scored 21 unanswered points, capped off by the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass from Bo Nix to Seth Williams which gave the Tigers the lead and the victory.
Oregon led 21-20 late into the fourth quarter, but had to punt back to the Tigers, who started the game-winning drive from their own 40 yard line and 2:05 left on the clock. Nix was able to convert a 4th-&-3 with his legs just at the first down marker, and went on to convert a 3rd-&-10 to Williams before setting up his game-winning touchdown.
Auburn scored fourteen unanswered points in just over 10 minutes of game action to turn a 21-6 deficit into a 21-20 ballgame with 9:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Ducks offense, desperate to put a scoring drive together, pushed the ball into Auburn territory but failed to pick up a 4th-&-1 on a run over the left side by CJ Verdell.
Oregon led 14-6 at halftime after a back-and-forth first half that saw smothering defense, explosive offense, and plenty of missed opportunities for the Ducks. Oregon took an early 7-0 lead on the opening drive of the game by going 11 plays and getting the ball to the goal line where CJ Verdell punched it in from a yard out. Auburn got a field goal to make it 7-3, but then a Justin Herbert touchdown pass of twenty yards to Spencer Webb gave the Ducks a 14-3 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
The Ducks earned one of their two first half interceptions of Auburn true freshman quarterback Bo Nix thanks to Thomas Graham Jr., who undercut a route in the red zone to pick off Nix. But Oregon couldn’t capitalize, and had to punt. Later in the half with a 14-3 lead, Oregon was driving deep into Auburn territory, but Herbert fumbled trying to keep the ball on a zone-read, and Auburn’s Big Kant Bryant picked it up and returned it 83 yards before receiver Bryan Addison jumped on his back to tackle him at the Oregon 3-yard line. That proved to be a big moment, as the Ducks defense held strong and kept Auburn to another field goal to cut the lead to 14-6, where it eventually held until halftime.
Justin Herbert finished the game 28/36 for 242 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. CJ Verdell had 14 rushes for 76 yards and a score.
Ultimately, the Ducks blew a 15-point lead, and the offense could not support the superb defensive effort for the majority of the game, and Auburn gets the better of Oregon another year.