AUBURN, Ala. — Tennessee lost to the Auburn Tigers on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, 30-17. This is the Vols seventh loss to Auburn in the last eight meetings.
Tennessee scored the first 10 points of the game. Jarrett Guarantano got the scoring started with a nine-yard touchdown run. The Vols added a field goal, after Bryce Thompson halted Auburn’s second drive with an interception.
The Tigers responded with a 54-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bo Nix to Anthony Schwartz. They added a field goal with 5:36 remaining in the second quarter. The score remained tied until the 7:25 mark in the third quarter, when Auburn kicked their second field goal.
Now trailing for the first time, Tennessee’s offense drove 63 yards in 10 plays. The Vols were 12 yards away from the end zone, but Smoke Monday intercepted Guarantano and returned it 100 yards for a Tigers touchdown.
That turned out to be the haymaker Tennessee could not recover from. Kicker Brent Cimaglia missed a field goal on the Vols’ ensuing drive. Auburn took advantage of the miss, driving 80 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.
Tennessee scored a late touchdown, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Sophomore running back Eric Gray rushed for a season-high 173 yards and a touchdown. It was his fourth game of at least 100 rushing yards this season. Guarantano finished with 156 passing yards and an interception. Harrison Bailey finished the game at quarterback. He passed for 86 yards on seven completions.
Saturday’s loss to Auburn is Tennessee’s fifth consecutive loss. This is the first five-game losing streak since 1988.
The Vols head to Nashville next week for a rivalry game against Vanderbilt.