Auburn Team

Auburn huddles up before its matchup with Penn State on Saturday.

Bryan Harsin had a clear message on Monday following Auburn’s 28–20 loss to Penn State — move on to the next game, but don’t forget the loss. 

“Don’t let the last game beat you twice,” Harsin said. “You do have to move on, but you gotta keep some of that sting and understanding of what it is that you didn't do well enough and make sure that the next week you don't go out and do the same thing.”

The Tigers lost a game that was within their grasp on Saturday in Happy Valley, having opportunities to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Harsin gave props to the Nittany Lions, but knew his team left opportunities on the field.

“Credit to Penn State ... we know we played a very good opponent but we knew there were opportunities in there that we could have done a better job of things that we control,” Harsin said.

The game shot Penn State up to No. 6 in the country, while Auburn dropped down one spot to No. 23 in the AP Poll. There was a lot that influenced the final score on Saturday, notably a lack of pass rush and letting Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford pick apart the Auburn secondary.

“We need to take away what we learned from this game and apply it to this week,” Harsin said. “Use it as motivation.”

Now back in Auburn, the Tigers are preparing for a homecoming match-up with a Georgia State team that is coming off a win against Charlotte, who beat Duke earlier this year.

“These guys do a good job and they definitely have the attention of everybody on this team and this staff,” Harsin said. “It's our next opponent, and we want to make sure that we prepare ourselves going into Tuesday for the looks and the things that we feel like we have to work on to go out there and play our best football on Saturday.”

Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger took over the starting role against Charlotte, which was the Panthers’ first win of the season. It was the first start for the Furman transfer since 2019.

“(Granger) came in there, had his first start on Saturday, and played well,” Harsin said. “Had a couple of touchdown passes.”

Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott is a former assistant coach at South Carolina, and was promoted to interim head coach after Steve Spurrier resigned. Elliott has experience playing SEC teams in the past, with his Panthers upsetting Tennessee in Knoxville 38–30 in 2019.

“Every opponent — and no different this week — Georgia State, it’s a damn good football team,” Harsin said. “They will be ready to play, they will come in here and give us their very best.”

Auburn has not lost on homecoming in 29 games, with its last loss being handed to them by Mississippi State in a three-point setback in 1991. Overall, the Tigers post a 82–8–4 record in homecoming games.

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