Shawn Elliott, Georgia State's coach, insinuated No. 23 Auburn was able to enjoy some home cooking by the SEC officials after a late review found that the Tigers had received a questionable reception, which led to the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
TJ Finley, Auburn's quarterback, threw a 19 yard pass to John Samuel Shenker on Saturday. The Auburn team was trailing by five at home. After the play was reviewed, a replay showed that the ball had hit the turf. Officials confirmed it was a catch and set up first-and goal.
Finley scrambled three plays later and tore a 10-yard touchdown to Shedrick Jack to take the lead with 45 seconds remaining.
Auburn won the race 34-24
Elliott is an expert on SEC officiating, having worked as an assistant at South Carolina between 2010 and 2016, and he suggested that Auburn benefited from having SEC referees call the game.
Elliott stated that they had received a bit of assistance during the review in which the ball was not complete. It should have been moved back to the 30-yard line. You know what happens when you play in a SEC team? They gave us a real gut punch that call. We appreciate that.
Elliott was proud of the team's performance, despite the questionable call by officials.
Elliott stated, "It's disappointing feeling." "Sports can tear you apart. This was a hard one to lose.
Georgia State maintained the momentum throughout the game and led by 24-12 at the end of the fourth quarter.
Auburn was only 9-of-20 in third-down conversion attempts, and rushed for just 166 yards. Finley was ultimately elected to replace Quarterback Bo Nix.
Auburn's offensive touchdown was Jackson's Finley pass to Jackson. Other points for the Tigers came from blocked punts and field goals.
Elliott said in his defense, "They are the players of this game."
Elliott stated that "they controlled the line de scrimmage." They controlled the passing attack. This is a fantastic defensive performance.
Elliott stated that the entire team "laid it on it."
He said, "It didn’t happen on the last drive." It hurts for them because they put so many energy and effort into it. It is a heartbreaking thing.