The Auburn Tigers could not pull out a win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Auburn rolled into Saturday’s championship with a No. 2 ranking and was in prime position to make the College Football Playoff with a win over the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be.

Banged up star RB Kerryon Johnson did start and play in the game, but he was not as effective as when Auburn rolled over the Bulldogs earlier this season. QB Jarrett Stidham was also inconsistent against Georgia’s defense.

The Bulldogs looked to be the dominant team this time around. Georgia racked up 240 yards rushing, blocked a field goal, and came away with two turnovers to notch a 28-7 win Saturday.

Auburn fell to 10-3 with the loss and is likely eliminated from the Playoff. It was a great season for the Tigers, but they come up just short of an SEC Championship.

It was a disappointing end after such a strong stretch run for Auburn. Here is what head coach Gus Malzahn had to say following the defeat:

On Kerryon Johnson’s health, performance

“KJ, can’t say enough with how tough he is. He was banged up. He had a shoulder issue, we really didn’t know if he was going to play. He gave us all he had. He’s a great player.”

On penalties

“We were the most disciplined team in our league coming into the game.”

On bright future at Auburn

“I’m happy here at Auburn. I love Auburn, I love my players. We have a very good foundation built, I believe the best is yet to come.”

Will you be the head coach at Auburn next year?

“I want to be.”