AUBURN — Call it whatever you want: Auburn Jesus, Chaos Auburn. No matter which name you like best, it was happening in the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
No. 4 Georgia led by 21 points with 13 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tigers still had zero at that point. Them getting shut out for the first time in the Gus Malzahn era felt more likely than a come-from-behind win.
But No. 12 Auburn didn't get shut out. Its offense struck for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Its defense forced three-and-out after three-and-out. The home team had the ball twice, down one score, with a chance to win the game.
It was just too little, too late. Georgia hung on to win 21-14.
Here are three takeaways:
1. Let Bo Nix run the two-minute drill all four quarters.
That was when Auburn's offense was at its best. It consistently moved the ball down the field with quick passes and up-tempo runs.
But the Tigers waited too long to get into that. They went three-and-out five times through the first three quarters. Bo Nix's 3-yard touchdown pass to Eli Stove and 2-yard rushing score — the first Georgia's defense had allowed all season — gave the home team life, but not enough to come all the way back and tie the game.
Auburn turned it over on downs on each of its final two drives.
2. Auburn's defense came up big time after time.
Yes, Georgia scored three touchdowns. But when Kevin Steele's unit needed to make stops, it did, almost every time.
The Bulldogs went three-and-out nine times, including on each of their final three drives (not counting the kneel downs to end the game).
3. Fans have every right to be frustrated with Gus Malzahn.
Losing to Florida, LSU and Georgia is not inexcusable in a vacuum. Those are three of the 11 best teams in the country. The latter two are in the current College Football Playoff top four.
The problem is how Auburn lost — because of offense. The defense held those three teams to 24, 23 and 21 points. The offense scored 13, 20 and 14.
For a team coached by a man who made his name on offense and went back to calling plays this season, that's hard to swallow.