Based on the Aggies’ brief third quarter exploits on offense and relentless defense throughout, A&M can check off another first under fourth-year coach Jimbo Fisher: Finally beating Auburn at Kyle Field. The Aggies prevailed 20-3 in the defensive struggle before 109,835 fans, second largest crowd in stadium history.
“When you play those kinds of games, things happen,” Fisher said of zero touchdowns by either team on offense. “There’s going to be good and bad – nothing is ever perfect. Sometimes those … I call them slobber-knockers … are really competitive.
“That’s a tough (A&M) football team in that locker room, and it’s got a lot to play for.”
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ON TEXAS SPORTS NATION: Aggies Extra Points
The Aggies (7-2, 4-2 SEC) clutched a 6-3 lead early in the fourth quarter when the lone touchdown by either team was scored – and it occurred on defense. A&M defensive lineman Jayden Peevy caused a fumble by Auburn quarterback Bo Nix and fellow Aggies defensive lineman Micheal Clemons scooped up the ball and sprinted 24 yards for the score.
“Bo is a great quarterback who likes to scramble a lot,” Peevy said. “I just took my shot on him and … touchdown.”
Meanwhile the Aggies’ third quarter score on Small’s go-ahead field goal came with a cost: Calzada exited the game with a left shoulder injury following a quarterback draw two plays before Small’s field goal. Calzada was replaced by walk-on Blake Bost, but Calzada returned later in the third quarter and then played the fourth quarter.
“He ain’t always perfect but I’m going to tell you what, that’s a competitor, man,” Fisher said of Calzada. “The guy has got arm talent, and can throw the football. He’s a tough guy … to get back in and do what he did, I have unbelievable respect for that young man and how he competes.”
Auburn (6-3, 3-2) under first-year coach Bryan Harsin entered Kyle Field 4-0 since 2013, and the visitors had won eight of the nine meetings in the quirky SEC West series prior to Saturday’s top 15 collision.
The evenly-matched teams played to a 3-3 tie in the first half, and the Aggies were hindered in the first half by four dropped passes. Three were by tight end Jalen Wydermyer and one by receiver Ainias Smith.
“You should be able to train your eyes to look the ball all the way into the tuck,” said Smith, who rebounded with a key 18-yard grab in traffic on a third-and-8 late in the third quarter. “Definitely that was something that was aggravating in the first half.”
Small missed a field goal attempt from 42 yards in the second quarter and Auburn’s Anders Carlson missed on a 33-yard attempt in the third quarter in the overall untidy contest.aside">
“The score being three points for however long it was … it was just a matter of time before someone was going to put some points on the board,” Harsin said of the Aggies’ defensive touchdown.
The Aggies, who were off last weekend and rusty on offense in their return to the field, head back on the road for the first time in nearly a month. They play at No. 16 Mississippi at 6 p.m. Saturday. They last played away from Kyle Field on Oct. 16 at Missouri, a 35-14 A&M victory.
Ole Miss defeated nonconference foe Liberty and former Rebels coach Hugh Freeze 27-14 on Saturday in Oxford, Miss. The Aggies outscoring the Tigers by 17 in the second half keeps A&M in the SEC West race with two league games remaining.
The Tigers likely were knocked out of contention with Saturday’s setback, but now A&M becomes the biggest Auburn fans in the nation. The Aggies will need to run the table and then cross their fingers that Auburn knocks off Alabama in the regular-season finale in Auburn.
A&M owns the division tiebreaker over Alabama courtesy of the Aggies’ 41-38 toppling of the then-No. 1 Crimson Tide on Oct. 9 at Kyle Field. Alabama is now No. 2 behind top-ranked Georgia of the SEC East. Asked if he was dreaming big about the rest of the season, Fisher shook his head.
“I’m dreaming about playing Ole Miss,” he said. “Just play it out and see what happens. There’s a lot of ball left in this season. … Right now, we better focus on getting ready to play at Ole Miss. That’s a tough place to play, and it’s a Saturday night game up there.”
Source : https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/college/article/No-14-Texas-A-M-overcome-No-13-Auburn-defense-16598353.php1236