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Auburn ran out of bounds on 4th down, which is a bad strategy

Auburn’s season is not going according to plan.

Things are not good with Auburn. Their 29-16 loss to Texas A&M was their seventh consecutive home loss to a Power 5 opponent, the second-longest such streak in college football. They’re 1-2 on the year, and although both losses are to ranked teams, “beating ranked teams” is something you have to do if you want to succeed in the SEC. And Auburn fans should hope to succeed in the SEC with a title game trip not so far in their rear-view mirror.

Perhaps the saddest thing on a sad day for Auburn? The way the game ended.

The Tigers faced 4th-and-18, a bleak scenario. Quarterback John Franklin III — you may know him from Last Chance U — didn’t have any receivers open. So he decided to run. Knowing the clock was ticking, he decided to duck out of bounds ... several yards short of the sticks on fourth down. That’s a turnover on downs.

It’s not *quite* Rutgers spiking the ball on fourth down, but it has the same result. Obviously, this play didn’t decide the game, but it’s indicative of where Auburn is right now. Their goals are somewhere downfield, and they’re sprinting out of bounds to avoid contact.