Auburn lost in devastating fashion Saturday against Arkansas. After coming back from an early 14-0 deficit, the Tigers fell in four overtimes, 54-46. Auburn took the lead twice in overtime, but the Razorbacks responded on both occasions.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has already seen firsthand the sort of effect such a deflating loss can have, and he knows this year’s squad needs to forget last Saturday fast.
“We got to put it behind us,” Malzahn said on his radio show Monday night. “That’s the type of loss that last year was similar feeling (sic) to that Texas A&M deal. We let that game affect the next one.”
Last season, Auburn went into a home game against Texas A&M with a 7-1 record. The No. 3 Tigers were still contenders for the first ever College Football Playoff, but the unranked Aggies stunned the home crowd with a 41-38 victory.
Auburn trimmed a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to three in that game, but the Tigers fumbled twice in the final three minutes to end their comeback hopes. Auburn went on to lose four of its last five games, with the only win coming against Samford.
This current team is not in the same position as the 2014 edition, but Malzahn expects a different response after the most recent heartbreaking loss to Arkansas.
“Our guys, they’ll definitely rebound,” Malzahn said. “I really feel like our team has enough leadership, enough character to do that.”