Not enough F's to go around in Auburn football loss to Penn State
AUBURN — Are there any glimmers of hope for Auburn football after that?
The Tigers (2-1) lost 41-12 to Penn State (3-0) on Saturday in a showing that sent fans home from Jordan-Hare Stadium early.
There was a lot of failure on both sides of the field, so there are a lot of failing grades to go around in this week's report card after a drubbing from the No. 23 Nittany Lions (3-0).
Where to start? With the red-zone failures? With Auburn's lack of a quarterback? Or with its apparent lack of faith in its best player, Tank Bigsby? The star running back carried the ball nine times for 39 yards, and quarterbacks T.J. Finley and Robby Ashford were sacked six times with terrible protection from the offensive line. Auburn turned the ball over four times. Every moment that flashed potential was immediately followed by a play three times worse.
Auburn didn't learn its lesson from Sean Clifford's 28-for-32 performance last season. This time, he finished 14-for-19 with 178 yards. The run game was even worse. Auburn's defensive front is supposed to be its greatest strength, but it was a pushover against a Big Ten offensive line. The Nittany Lions ran for 245 yards on 39 carries.
Special teams: B
Congratulations to Anders Carlson for making his short field goals and to the rest of Auburn's special teams for avoiding utter embarrassment like the offense and defense did.
Bryan Harsin hot seat conversations will increase exponentially on talk radio this week, especially after his Tigers played worse after halftime. A portion of this particular F has to do with recruiting. For Penn State, James Franklin rolled out his five-star freshman running back Nick Singleton, who exploded for 124 yards on 10 carries against a visibly less-talented Auburn team. Meanwhile, Harsin has still not secured a commitment from a top-100 recruit in his tenure. This was one of Auburn's biggest recruiting weekends of the year. Hard to imagine teenagers wanting to play on the Plains after experiencing that.
A failure in almost every way. (Again, congrats to special teams for flying under the radar.) Auburn should feel fortunate it has a weak-looking Missouri team visiting next week.