One of the more incredible stats of Auburn’s 21-14 loss to Georgia on Saturday was that the Tigers attempted 50 passes. QB Bo Nix completed 30 of them for 245 yards and a touchdown, but it was not something coach Gus Malzahn drew up before the game.

Malzahn said Georgia is the No. 1 rushing defense in the SEC for a reason, and at times the Tigers were efficient running the ball.

“If you look, through the first three quarters, I think we were close to 50/50,” Malzahn said of the run-pass balance as the Tigers finished with 36 carries. “… We really went into the game knowing we had to be balanced. You’re playing a talented defense, ¬†you need to be balanced. But you get in the fourth quarter and you’re down by 21 points, I think we threw it 20 times, I think we ran it 10 times in the fourth quarter. But … I didn’t think we’d throw it 50 times, but the way the game unfolded, that’s what we needed to do in the fourth quarter.”

Auburn had more first downs than Georgia (22-16) and controlled the time of possession (32:17 to 27:43), but the Bulldogs outrushed the Tigers 141 to 84.

Despite the loss, the Georgia game revealed something to Malzahn.

“It shows me that we do have the ability through the air to do some things… But when you’re playing the top teams, you’re going to need to be balanced,” he said.

He added, “You look at the fourth quarter, that gives you something to build on. We’ve just got to put more points on the board.”