Number 21 Houston next to Auburn 17-13 at Birmingham Bowl

Birmingham, Ala. (AP) – Jake Herslow caught a 26-yard, forward touchdown pass from Clayton Tune with a 3:27 left to help No. 21 Houston win 17-13 over Auburn on Tuesday at the Birmingham Bowl.

The Cougars (12-2) went 80 yards over eight innings to finish the third season in show history with at least 12 wins. They were on a four-game losing streak and won 12 of their last 13, the only loss going to No. 4 Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

The Tigers (6-7) went the opposite way in coach Bryan Harsin’s first season. They ended a season with five consecutive losses for the first time in 71 years and a third loss in a row.

Game MVP Tune completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns with a block while also dashing for 43 yards. Nathaniel Dell caught 10 passes in 150 yards, while Alton McCaskill ran 66 yards and caught one that hit the ground.

Auburn, who fired offensive coordinator Mike Bobo after the regular season, had one more chance but failed to knock down the first. The Bigsby tank ran for 8 yards on the first down and then TJ Finley threw three consecutive misses at short passes.

Houston has run out of clocks.

Finley completed 19 of 34 227-yard passes and a touchdown in his third start since replacing the injured Bo Nix. Bigsby has 88 yards of charge and 68 yards of reception.

The Cougars moved through midfield to take the lead after Auburn’s second targeted throw, this time against Jaylin Simpson.

Tuning set it up with a 20-meter pass to close Christian Trahan.

The Tigers rebounded from a 10-0 deficit to take the lead late in the third half after Kobe Hudson’s 12-yard touchdown from Finley in third and the goal.


Houston marked one of its better seasons with a win over the Southeast Conference team, this game after starting after an opening loss.

Auburn had another game run late, including a quadruple loss in extra time to No. 1 Alabama. The Tigers do not have a number of key players injured, transferred or opted out.


Auburn Smoke Monday’s safety is the first player to be ejected to the target after the previous flag against him is overturned. This call came during Nehemiah Pritchett’s interception return. The penalty sent the Tigers back 47 yards.


Houston will try to close the gap on Cincinnati with an attack expected to return Tune and full-back Alton McCaskill. Cougars open against UTSA.

Auburn had a pivotal season that included replacing Nix, who was injured and then transferred to Oregon. The Tigers opened the door against Mercer.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Number 21 Houston next to Auburn 17-13 at Birmingham Bowl

Dais Johnston

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