Auburn's Bowl Game Drought Trolled by CFB Fans as Maryland Wins Music City Bowl

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Auburn's Bowl Game Drought Trolled by CFB Fans as Maryland Wins Music City Bowl

Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the fifth consecutive year, the Auburn Tigers' season ended without a bowl win, as they fell 31-13 to the Maryland Terrapins in the Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday.

Auburn did not qualify for a bowl game last season after going 5-7, but they lost each of their previous three bowl games, meaning it is now in the midst of a four-game losing streak in bowls and a five-year drought in terms of bowl wins.

In fact, the Tigers have won just a single bowl game over the past eight seasons, that being the 2018 Music City Bowl.

With the Tigers struggling to end their seasons on a high note despite being a high-profile SEC program, college football fans took aim at head coach Hugh Freeze's team on X, formerly known as Twitter:

As is often the case with non-playoff bowls, both Auburn and Maryland dealt with some significant absences due to opt-outs.

Most of the Tigers' opt-outs came on the defensive side, as defensive tackle Marcus Harris and cornerbacks Nehemiah Pritchett and DJ James all opted out, while safety Jaylin Simpson also sat, possibly due to a hamstring injury, per's Matt Cohen.

Maryland's biggest absence was starting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who opted out in anticipation of the NFL draft. With Tagovailoa out, Billy Edwards Jr. and Cameron Edge both saw time at quarterback, and they performed well.

Edwards went 6-of-20 for 126 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, while also rushing for 50 yards and a score. Edge went 4-of-6 for 82 yards with one touchdown and one pick.

The same can't be said for Auburn's regular starting quarterback in Payton Thorne, who finished 13-of-27 for 84 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Auburn stumbled out of the gates Saturday, trailing 21-0 after the first quarter and entering halftime down 24-7.

Maryland essentially put the game away early in the third quarter when Glendon Miller intercepted Thorne and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, extending the Terps' lead to 31-7.

While bowl games have been the Tigers' kryptonite in recent years, Maryland has come to play in bowl games under head coach Mike Locksley.

The Terrapins have now played in and won bowl games in three straight seasons, and by finishing 8-5 on the season, Maryland has posted a winning record in three consecutive campaigns for the first time since 2001 to 2003.

As for Auburn, the loss dropped it to 6-7, giving the Tigers three losing seasons in a row for the first time since 1975 to 1977.

from Bleacher Report

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