Auburn looks to achieve what it hasn’t since pre-pandemic in Week 4

Auburn football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Auburn football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Auburn football program heads to College Station for a date with Texas A&M to open conference play with a 3-0 record on September 23 — and in the process, they have the chance to do something they haven’t done since before the COVID-19 pandemic: start a season 4-0.

The last time Auburn entered Aggieland with a 3-0 start was back in 2019, when Auburn Football was ranked as the 8th best team in the country up against No. 17 Texas A&M. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix and the Tigers won 28-20, winning the following week at home against Mississippi State before taking their first loss versus Florida in the swamp.

The pressure is all on Texas A&M, no Auburn football

Earlier in the week ON3s J.D Pickell started his preview and prediction segment by stating for A&M, “this is a must win… the stakes can not be overstated how high they are for Jimbo Fisher and company.”

Aggie fans have been getting frustrated with their head coach recently. They were one of, if not the most disappointing teams in the country last year finishing with only 5 wins. 5-7 is not the result anybody was expecting for a team with so much talent. 247 Sports had that 2022 class ranked #1 in the country with eight 5-star recruits and the most recent class ranking 15th in the country.

So there is tons of talent on that roster, more than Auburn has currently. That is something Hugh Freeze mentioned in his weekly press conference when talking about the stretch of games they are about to face starting with Texas A&M.

“They got a bunch of 5-stars…they’re really talented,” Freeze said. “When you put on the film you see that”.

Stacking 5-stars and 4-stars in consecutive recruiting classes is crucial to compete and Freeze understands that, as he and his staff are starting strong with their own attempt.

Keys for Auburn football leaving Kyle Field with a win

Texas A&M has already dropped a game on their schedule this year, losing 33-48 against the Miami Hurricanes in which Josh Pate said about A&M, “Their defense looked woeful, they couldn’t tackle and the secondary got roasted.”

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke had a game, completing 21 passes for over 350 yards and 5 touchdowns. Auburn always wants to run the ball but may have to throw more on Saturday to win the game. We saw a glimpse of the passing game last week against Samford in which Peyton Throne threw for 282 yards, 93 of those coming from Jay Fair. Thorne did throw 2 interceptions.

Auburn’s secondary will also have to be sharp in order to win. Texas A&M quarterback Connor Weigman is talented and he has great receivers to throw to. On the year, ESPN has Weigman at a 70% completion percentage, 909 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions (those both against Miami). So Weigman will throw in the new Bobby Petrino offense.

Although the Auburn football defense already has 5 interceptions, they may have to play their best game of the year so far in order to force some incompletions and turnovers, especially without Keionte Scott being on the field for a long while.

2022’s matchup compared to 2023 Week 4’s

Last year’s game against these two ended up with an Auburn victory, 13-10. It was Carnell Williams’s first game at Jordan-Hare as the interim head coach. Both teams were entering the game with a 3-6 record, but the electric atmosphere on the plains made it seem like this was a battle of the undefeated.

The Auburn family was loud for “Cadillac”, however, this year’s game is in College Station. Kyle Field is no easy place to play in. Holding over 100,000 fans, the 12th man gets loud. This is Auburn’s second away game of the year, the first in California in which they struggled from the first whistle.

The Auburn football program’s conference opener is scheduled for kickoff at 11 a.m. CST on ESPN.