Instant analysis: Texas A&M 63, Auburn 21
October, 27, 2012
By Sam Khan Jr. | ESPN.com
Texas A&M started fast and never looked back, leaving the result of the game in virtually no doubt from start to finish, dominating Auburn 63-21 on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Let's take a look at how the Aggies got it done:
It was over when: Johnny Manziel strolled into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown run with 12:03 remaining in the third quarter to give the Aggies a 49-7 lead. It was the last drive of the night for Manziel and the first-team offense and capped what was a near-perfect night for that group.
Game ball goes to: Manziel. You could give it to a lot of folks, but once again, Manziel was a big-time playmaker, going 16-of-26 passing for 260 yards and two touchdowns while running for 90 yards and another three touchdowns on nine carries. That's 350 total offensive yards and five touchdowns in little more than a half of work. If the game wasn't out of reach, Manziel might have flirted with the SEC single-game total offense record, which he has already set twice this season.
Game ball, Part 2: The Texas A&M defense. It shut down the Tigers in the first quarter, making Auburn go three-and-out on its first three drives and forcing five three-and-outs for the night. The unit didn't get a turnover, but that's nitpicking in a win like this. They tackled well, kept the running game in check and pressured the Auburn quarterbacks.
Rising star: Trey Williams. The true freshman running back, who handles kick return duty, got some touches in the first half then got plenty in the second half once the game got out of hand. He finished with a team-high 109 yards, a career high, on 19 carries plus a 1-yard touchdown. He also caught three passes for 24 yards and added 45 kick return yards for 178 all-purpose yards.
What it means: Winning in this fashion was really good for the Aggies, as they have two tough SEC road games ahead against Mississippi State and Alabama in the next two weeks. They were able to rest several starters and key players for much of the second half. The Aggies are now over .500 in SEC play (3-2), and at 6-2 overall, the Aggies are now bowl-eligible. And while the Tigers are down and looked very much out, it's still worthwhile for the Aggies to win an SEC road game in this fashion. They continue to show that the indeed belong in the conference.
Saturday's top plays in the SEC
12:00 PM ET Eastern Kentucky Florida 12:00 PM ET Charleston Southern 10 Georgia 12:00 PM ET South Alabama South Carolina 3:30 PM ET 8 Ole Miss Arkansas 4:00 PM ET Western Carolina 1 Alabama 7:00 PM ET Samford 14 Auburn 7:30 PM ET 20 Missouri Tennessee 7:30 PM ET Vanderbilt 4 Mississippi State