Auburn beats Missouri with overtime fumble recovery, potentially saving coach Bryan Harsin’s job

It’s only Week 4, but Auburn’s 17-14 overtime win over Missouri is certainly in the running for the most bizarre game of the season. It’s also a game that could save coach Bryan Harsin’s job for another week.

In a stunning yet fitting end to a game that was sloppy from start to finish, Missouri running back Nathaniel Peat fumbled a possible touchdown that would have given the Tigers the win. However, Auburn’s Cayden Bridges dove on the ball as it rolled into the end zone and graciously ended the game with a rare walk-off touchback.

Peat looked at a second and 15 in the bottom frame of overtime and ran 20 yards around the left touchline, dodging Auburn defenders and making his way to the goal line. However, when Peat grabbed the pylon, the ball came out at the 1-yard line, resulting in the Tigers’ second turnover of the day.

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Torf’s fumble was the final failing of an error-filled game that Missouri could easily have won. On the last ball possession time in overtime, Auburn kicker Anders Carlson missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, but an offside penalty from Missouri gave him another chance — a 39-yard try that Carlson scored for the go-ahead met.

The game only went into overtime because Missouri couldn’t finish things in regulation. A failed fourth attempt by Auburn at 1:37 in the fourth quarter gave Mizzou the ball at his own 30-yard line. The Tigers immediately drove across the field to get inside the 5-yard line, but instead of trying to pot it for the touchdown, coach Eli Drinkwitz opted to let quarterback Brady Cook center the ball in the middle of the field to set up a field goal attempt by Harrison Mevis. That backfired tremendously. Mevis pushed the 26-yard try wide to the right to give Auburn a chance to win it in overtime.

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Neither team scored in a second half that began with 12 straight drives that ended in punts – eight of which were three-and-outs.

How the win changes Harsin’s fate remains to be seen. Had Auburn lost to Missouri, Harsin would likely have been fired Sunday. after Bruce Feldman. However, the Tigers extended a 14-point lead after the first quarter, rushed for just 217 yards and gave up the running game despite running all 14 plays of a 59-yard touchdown drive to open the game. Although the win puts the Tigers 3-1, the offensive ineptitude and questionable coaching decisions can’t do the school powers-that-be good.

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Those power brokers nearly orchestrated a coup in February to oust Harsin after a 6-7 record in 2021, and post-season mass churns of players and coaches weren’t helping. They are unlikely to grant their wish and present Harsin with the pink slip after the win, but the result seems only a matter of time.

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