AUBURN – It was a frustrating night for the Auburn offense, amassing 399 total yards but only finding the end zone twice as the Tigers fell to the Texas A&M Aggies 29-16 in the SEC opener for both teams.
Auburn dented the scoreboard first, starting their second drive of the night from their own 20. Kamryn Pettway quickly proved why he is a premier back in the Auburn offense, with back-to-back-to-back carries for a total of 19 yards. Quarterback Sean White then hit Tony Stevens as he toed the sideline and hauled in the 10-yard pass for another Auburn first down. White completed his next two passes on his way to a 6 for 6 start on the night. He found Ryan Davis twice for a total of 23 yards and Will Hastings once for 6 yards. The work horse on the drive, Pettway, completed the Auburn drive with a 1-yard plunge up the middle. Sure footed Daniel Carlson added the PAT and gave Auburn a 7-0 lead with 7:11 left on the clock in the first quarter.
After trading punts with the Tigers, Texas A&M took over on their own 29. Trevor Knight started the drive hitting Josh Reynolds over the middle on a slant that was good for 7 yards. Keith Ford then rushed around the left end for 7 yards followed by a Knight pass that found the waiting hands of Christian Kirk for 6. On the next play Knight took matters into his own hands taking the ball over right tackle and up the field for a 16-yard scamper to the Auburn 35. Here the Aggie drive stalled as the Tigers defense bent but would not break, holding A&M to a 46-yard field goal off the foot of Daniel LaCamera to make the score 7-3 in favor of Auburn as the time melted off the clock in the first quarter.
Following a booming Auburn punt 17 seconds into the second quarter, Texas A&M found themselves within the shadow of their own end zone, starting the drive from their own 8. Knight immediately got some breathing room for the Aggies by finding Ricky Seals-Jones on a 14-yard slant out to the A&M 22. Ford picked up 4 yards on a rush up the middle before Knight connected with Seals-Jones again, this time for 16 yards, but the big blow on the drive was the 51-yard strike from Knight to Reynolds all the way down to the Tiger 7-yard line. Knight and Reynolds connected again, this time from 5 yards out to cap the drive with a touchdown. LaCamera added the PAT and Texas A&M took a 10-7 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
Both the Tigers and the Aggies had trouble getting the offenses going on the next two possessions, trading punts. Following the Aggie punt, Auburn had great field position with the ball on their own 44 but quickly lost possession when Reggie Chevis wrapped up Ryan Davis and punched the ball out from behind. Daeshon Hall fell on the loose ball giving the Aggies great field position at the Tiger 40. The Auburn defense came up big again, keeping A&M out of the end zone, leaving them to settle for a 35-yard field goal from LaCamera to put the Aggies on top 13-7.
Auburn picked up a first down on their first play of their next drive on a 12-yard rush by Pettway. However, this was the only first down for Auburn on the drive as they were forced to punt the ball for the fourth time in the half.
Texas A&M wasted no time getting the drive going as Knight found Speedy Noil down the far sideline for a 40-yard strike down to the Auburn 20. For the third time on the night the Tiger defense stiffened when their backs were to the wall, not allowing A&M to cross the plane of the goal line and making them settle for a 31-yard LaCamera field goal to put the Aggies on top 16-7.
Starting from their own 25 after a touchback, Auburn looked to put together a scoring drive before the half and they did just that. On second-and-10, Kerryon Johnson busted up the middle for a 20-yard blast. Two plays later White found Stevens for 18 yards over the middle for a first down at the Aggie 34. White connected with Stevens again, this time for 11 yards to set up a last-second field goal off the foot of Carlson from 37 yards out and pulling the Tigers to within a single possession of A&M, 16-10, going to the locker room at the break.
Arguably the best player on the field tonight for Texas A&M, LaCamera added another pair of field goals in the second half. He also added another PAT following an 89-yard TD blast by Trayveon Williams. LaCamera accounted for 17 of the 29 Texas A&M points.
Auburn added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard blast by Johnson but failed to convert the 2-point conversion to get the Tigers to within two TDs.
Auburn fell to the Texas A&M Aggies 29-16.
The Auburn Tigers look to get in the win column in conference play when the LSU Tigers come calling on the Plains at Jordan-Hare next Saturday.
John Franklin III
18 of 27
John Franklin III
4 of 8
399 yards of total offense
283 yards rushing
163 yards passing
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