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No. 20 Houston rallies to edge Auburn in Birmingham Bowl

Sportsnaut
Dec 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback TJ Finley (1) passes against the Houston Cougars during the first half of the 2021 Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback TJ Finley (1) passes against the Houston Cougars during the first half of the 2021 Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Tune completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, as No. 20 Houston rallied for a 17-13 win over Auburn on Tuesday in the Birmingham Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

Alton McCaskill and Jake Herslow each had a touchdown reception for Houston (12-2). Nathaniel Dell had 10 catches for 150 yards to lead the Cougars.

T.J. Finley completed 19 of 37 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown for Auburn (6-7). Tank Bigsby had 16 carries for 96 yards.

Herslow hauled in the decisive touchdown catch with 3:27 to go. Tune hit him for a 26-yard touchdown that capped a dramatic eight-play, 80-yard drive to knock off Auburn in its home state.

Houston had a 398-352 edge in total yards.

Auburn carried a 13-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored 10 unanswered points in the third.

Ben Patton made a 35-yard field goal early in the third quarter to draw the Tigers within 10-6.

Then, with 3:52 left in the third quarter, Finley found Kobe Hudson for a 12-yard touchdown to put Auburn on top. It was the fourth receiving touchdown of the season for Hudson.

Auburn opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tune to McCaskill. It was the second touchdown catch of the season for McCaskill, who also had 16 scores on the ground.

A 52-yard field goal by Dalton Witherspoon made it 10-0 Houston midway through the second quarter. It was Witherspoon’s longest kick of the season.

Auburn got on the scoreboard with 3:10 to go in the first half when Patton made a 27-yard field goal.

McCaskill finished with 14 carries for 78 yards to go along with four catches for 15 yards and a touchdown.

–Field Level Media