Fumbled Away: Auburn Football vs Texas A&M Game Recap


Gus Malzahn had never lost at Jordan-Hare Stadium as the head coach of the Auburn football team. The team had won 14 in a row at home. The Tigers were ranked No. 3 in the nation by the AP Top 25, the Amway Coaches Poll and the College Football Playoff committee.

It all came crashing down when Auburn fumbled twice in the fourth quarter in a 41-38 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies.

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Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


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  • Auburn had an opportunity to score on a 1st-and-goal play from the two-yard line, but Nick Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne couldn’t execute the handoff on a zone read play, and the Aggies recovered. The Auburn defense, which struggled all game, held Texas A&M on the following three plays and nearly forced a safety before the Aggies punted.

    Quan Bray returned the punt to the 42-yard line and Auburn picked up a quick first down at the 29-yard line. However, as Marshall attempted to communicate changes to his teammates, center Reese Dismukes snapped the ball while Marshall wasn’t looking. Again Texas A&M recovered the fumble and two snaps later, the Aggies celebrated a huge upset victory.

    Entering the Saturday’s SEC West clash with Texas A&M as a 24-point favorite, the Auburn football team played like a heavy underdog in the first half, and took a 35-17 deficit into the locker room at halftime.

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    The Tigers made a furious second half comeback, but poor play by the defense early was too much to overcome, and the Auburn offense fumbled away two late chances to take their first lead of the game.

    Things started horrendously for the Auburn secondary. After taking the opening kickoff, it took only four plays for Texas A&M to find the end zone. Kyle Allen found Malcome Kennedy on a 60-yard pass and catch that gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead.

    After Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne fumbled his first carry of the game, the Aggies took a 14-0 lead shortly thereafter when Allen found Josh Reynolds open for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

    Allen, who had just 105 yards and one touchdown against ULM a week ago, threw for 111 yards and two TDs on his first two drives against the country’s third ranked team. He finished with 277 passing yards against the Tigers on 19-for-29 passing.

    Auburn got on the board on the following drive when Cameron Artis-Payne capped off a 13 play, 75-yard drive. After the Tigers made a stop to force a punt on the next Texas A&M drive, CAP found the end zone again to tie the game 14-14. This time, Artis-Payne took the long way and scored from 34-yards out.

    On the drive, Artis-Payne broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Auburn has now had at least one player rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of the last six seasons. Head coach Gus Malzahn has also had a 1,000-yard runner in every collegiate season he has coached. Artis-Payne finished the first half with 101 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and he set a career high with 221 yards on 30 carries.

    Texas A&M jumped ahead again quickly on Allen’s third touchdown pass of the first half. The true freshman hit Ricky Seals-Jones for a 23-yarder and the Aggies took a 21-14 lead.Kyle Allen’s fourth touchdown pass of the first half pushed the lead to 21-14, and Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson pulled the Tigers closer with a 30-yard field goal.

    Late in the second quarter, Jermaine Whitehead intercepted Kyle Allen to set up a scoring opportunity for the Tigers just before halftime. Whitehead had not played at all on defense since the second game of the season following a suspension, but the pick was his third of the year.

    However, when the Tigers lined up for a 41-yard field goal with 0:09 on the clock before the half, Texas A&M blocked the attempt and Deshazor Everett returned it for a touchdown to take a 35-17 lead into the locker room.

    The Tigers suffered a major blow early in the second quarter when leading receiver D’haquille Williams went down with an apparent knee injury. Williams was on the receiving end of a Nick Marshall pass, but dropped it when he was hit low by an Aggies defender. Williams took a helmet to the knee and remained down on the field for several minutes as the Auburn training staff attended to him. The junior was helped off the field by trainers and it appeared he could not put any weight on his right leg.

    Auburn struck first in the second half when Marshall capped off a 69-yard drive with a two-yard TD run, but the Aggies answered quickly to keep it a two possession lead heading into the fourth quarter, 38-24.

    However, it took only 53 seconds for the Tigers to pull to within a touchdown. Nick Marshall threw a 31-yard strike to Quan Bray on the first play of the second quarter to make it 38-31.

    But the Auburn defense could not keep the Aggies off the scoreboard. A 27-yard field goal from Josh Lambo pushed the lead to 41-31 with 7:54 left in the game. Then, Nick Marshall marched the Tigers down the field to pull the score to 41-38 with a six-yard touchdown run following a 52-yard pass to Sammie Coates. But, it was as close as the Tigers would get.

    Marshall was 15-of-21 passing for 219 yards and a touchdown. He added 67 yards and two scores on the ground. The Auburn defense allowed 274 yards in the first half and 453 total yards in the loss. The Tigers racked up 582 total yards, but the early hole was too steep a climb for Auburn.

    Next: Gus Malzahn Discusses Auburn's 41-38 Loss to Texas A&M

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