Athens, Ga.--For senior tight end Cole Bennett, Saturday's loss to the Georgia Bulldogs was a bittersweet occasion. On one hand he lost to his home-state team for the second consecutive year, but he helped his team tremendously with 32 yards receiving on two catches. That wasn't enough for the tough senior from Dalton though.
"I was happy I got some catches, but I would much rather have the victory," Bennett says. "The ball just didn't bounce our way. We got outplayed there at the end and could never stop them."
Auburn had its chances to make a run at the Bulldogs and actually held the lead halfway through the third quarter thanks to a Wes Byrum 33-yard field goal with 6:47 left in the quarter. Bennett says at that moment he felt like the Tigers were in good shape to get a victory, but it wasn't to be on this night.
"Jerraud got that interception and we really had the momentum there," Bennett says. "We would have liked to have gotten seven, but we tied it with the field goal. Things just didn't bounce our way after that. It was a tough loss."
The third quarter was the critical one for the Tigers and it was a case of mistakes and execution problems that left them reeling for the final 15 minutes. After taking the lead on Byrum's field goal, the offense watched as Georgia marched down the field 68 yards on just four plays to take the lead back on a 24-yard scamper by Knowshon Moreno. That was just the beginning for the Bulldogs as they scored 28 points in a span of just 13 minutes and 12 seconds to put the game out of reach.
"It was a lot like a basketball game," Bennett says. "We had the momentum and then they had the momentum. We just could never get it back. We had it going there in the third quarter and I thought we were really going to turn it on. They turned it up another notch and we could never respond.
"I kept looking at the clock and it was moving fast," Bennett adds. "We both held the ball in the third quarter and it was just flying by. I couldn't believe what was happening. They held it and we held it. They put up more points than we did."
Bennett and the Tigers now turn their attention to Alabama and the Iron Bowl in two weeks, but not before some much needed time off. While Alabama is always big for any Auburn player, Bennett says missing the chance to get some revenge on the Bulldogs is something he already regrets.
"It's really frustrating," Bennett says. "It's especially tough because I came back for another shot at these guys. It didn't play out the way I thought it would. It's tough personally and for the team to have two losses like this, last year and this year. I feel like we played better this year, but we didn't finish it out."