However, the offense faltered down the stretch and allowed Georgia to stay in the game before finally pulling ahead with 1:25 to play to take a 24-21 SEC football victory on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"We just didn't do a good job of moving the ball in the fourth quarter," Petrino said. "We just gave them way too many opportunities. I thought our defense did a great job. It is a tough one to take."
Auburn led 14-3 at halftime despite two interceptions thrown by Jason Campbell and a fumbled punt return by Roderick Hood. At the break, Auburn had 233 yards of total offense, but finished with just 332.
"Early in the game hurt us, too," Petrino said. "We drove the ball well and ended up with an interception. I thought Jason Campbell really played hard and really competed hard, but he had a couple of crucial mistakes in the first half that come back and haunt you."
Campbell said it was a tough game to lose. "We knew coming in it was going to be a game just like this," the sophomore said. "Things just didn't bounce our way."
Campbell said the third quarter injury to fullback Brandon Johnson hurt the running attack. He also gave Georgia credit for playing more aggressive defensive after halftime. "Brandon is a major asset to our offense and you can always tell when he is missing," Campbell said.
Campbell noted that the game was a frustrating one and it will hurt the Tigers for a while. "It was one of those games if we had just made one more play, we could have won the game."
The Tigers close the regular season next Saturday at Alabama. When asked if his team will be able to get up off the deck after the disappointing day at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Campbell said, "We are going to have to put this behind us and stay focused because Alabama is another great team," he said.
Jason Campbell hit 12-23 passes for for 133 yards and one touchdown, but he was intercepted twice
Tight end Robert Johnson agreed with Campbell that the loss was tough to take. "If we could have just got a first down when we needed it, we could have won the game," he said. "Georgia has got a real strong defense. They came to play and we didn't execute as well as we needed to and that was the outcome."