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AUBURN — After going 21 days between games, Auburn returned to action Saturday with a 30-17 victory over Tennessee.

Here's how we'd grade the Tigers' performance:

Offense: B

Auburn moved the ball well and hit some big plays — most notably Bo Nix's 54-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Schwartz — but red zone woes loom large. Nix threw an interception in the end zone, and the Tigers had to settle for two short field goals after 13-plus-play drives.

Defense: B

Kevin Steele's group bent a ton, especially early, but did not break. Smoke Monday's 100-yard interception return for a touchdown — on a drive where Tennessee could have taken the lead — proved the play of the game.

Special teams: A-

Anders Carlson hit all three of his field goal attempts. Tennessee did have one long kick return, but T.D. Moultry also blew one up.

Coaching: B

Auburn didn't get off to the best start on either side of the ball, but the home team made the necessary adjustments in the win.

Overall: B

A win is a win, and that is always good. But, the Tigers are going to have to play much better than they did against Tennessee if they want to upset No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa next weekend.

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