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Texas A&M Football

Post Game Review: Auburn 13, Texas A&M 10

November 12, 2022
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Texas A&M has moved into the bottom of the SEC West after a 13-10 loss to Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. With the loss, the Aggies have now dropped six-straight games and are ineligible for a bowl game for the first time since 2008. 

In what was a dismal offensive performance, the Aggies did not find the end zone until their final drive of the game. 

A&M’s young offense took the field led by Conner Weigman, who earned his first start on the road. Alongside him was Le’Veon Moss, who also got his first career start due to Devon Achane’s foot injury. The Aggies started five true freshmen on offense, the most all season. 

After the Ags were pushed back by a false start penalty, Moss rushed for a gain of four and caught an 8-yard pass, his 12th rush and first catch of the season.

A roughing the kicker penalty gave the ball back to Weigman, who found Noah Thomas and Evan Stewart for 3-yard catches. In A&M’s first five offensive plays, the only people to touch the ball were true freshmen. Yet, Devin Price could not hang onto a long pass from Weigman, and Nik Constantinou punted it away. 

Playing for their new coach Carnell Williams, the Auburn Tigers found an early first-down thanks to Robby Ashford as he was stopped by Antonio Johnson, who returned to action after missing three games to injury. Tank Bigsby piled on with rushes of 13, five and two before Ashford found his tight end to move the chains. Jarquez Hunter added to the rush total with two carries, but A&M’s defense was able to get a stop after the Tigers put up 49 rushing yards on the first drive. 

© Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
In his first road start, Weigman totaled just 121 yards and one touchdown after only completing 39 percent of passes (14-of-36). 

Amari Daniels saw his first carries of the game to convert a first down. On the ensuing plays, Stewart bobbled a pass, and Weigman threw incomplete to bring up third down. Weigman was sacked, and Constantinou kicked a 47-yard punt to set up Auburn on their 38-yard line. 

After two short rushes, Auburn’s leading rusher Bigbsy broke free for a gain of 39, and a wide-open pass to Ja’Varrius Johnson put the Tigers on top to end the quarter, 7-0.

Two scrambles from Weigman inched the Aggies closer to midfield. Max Wright saw his first reception, but after the play, Wright went down and did not return to the game until after the half. Moss grabbed a gain of one, and an incomplete pass to Thomas brought up third down. Weigman almost threw his first interception, but the call was overturned. Still, the Aggies wasted the drive.

To follow, A&M’s run defense got trampled by Hunter, who rushed for 16-, 18- and 14-yard carries. Walter Nolen stepped up to halt any gain. The Tigers could not convert and sent A&M’s offense back on the field.

Searching for a spark, Weigman found Jalen Preston, who extended the play with his feet for a gain of 27. But, a holding penalty reduced A&M’s yardage. Daniels’ 2- and 5-yard rushes came before Price caught a much-needed 25-yard chain mover. On first down, Weigman used his legs to set up Daniels to cross midfield. Stewart’s second completion added two yards, but the Aggies kept shooting themselves in the foot. Two penalties pushed the Aggies back, and Weigman threw a trio of incomplete passes. The 15-play drive had no result.

On the first play, the Aggies were lucky to have Antonio Johnson back as his sole efforts almost put points on the board, but Ashford was able to find Luke Deal for a 1-yard gain. The Aggies’ defense stepped up as they forced a third-and-long situation, but a personal foul from Shemar Turner handed Auburn 15 yards on a silver platter.

The Tigers’ groove on the ground continued as they rushed past midfield, credit to Hunter’s 23-yarder. A completion to Bigsby extended the drive, but two incompletions followed. Before heading into the locker room, Johnson blew up Ashford for a loss of four, and Demani Richardson grabbed his first pick of the season. 

© Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter each posted 121 rushing yards as the Aggies were torched from the ground. 

Averaging 7.2 yards per carry, the Tigers dominated on the ground with 173 yards compared to A&M’s 130 total offensive yards headed into the half.

Auburn started their drive with a collection of rushes, and a 20-yard QB keeper from Ashford did not do A&M’s defense any favors. A pass interference call handed the Tigers a first down, but the Aggies were able to hold Auburn to a field goal attempt, which Alex McPherson hooked right. 

Weigman and the offense took the field again, looking to capitalize off the defensive stop. However, A&M went three and out. 

On Hunter’s 22-yard gain, a holding call provided some mercy for the Aggies. Then, a wide-open wheel route was overthrown to send out Auburn’s punt team. 

Moss rushed to place the ball right back on the line of scrimmage, and the Aggies could simply not find any rhythm on offense. They were called for an illegal formation penalty followed by two incompletions as Auburn’s line swallowed up Weigman. Constantinou’s 34-yard punt did not help.

Hunter sparked the drive with a 25-gain but was quickly burnt out when McKinnley Jackson recovered a fumble on the A&M 27-yard line. Back with the ball, Weigman threw his ninth-, 10th- and 11th-straight incompletions, and the drive went useless. However, Auburn did the same.

Backed up on their own 4-yard line, the Aggies made nothing of their following drive as Weigman was plummetted into the ground. The Aggies finished the third quarter with -2 yards and only one completion, which was for negative yardage. 

In the fourth, Jackson tipped a pass that landed in the hands of Edgerrin Cooper — his first interception this season. Weigman completed two passes, one to Stewart, who was banged up on the play. Jimbo Fisher sent out Randy Bond to nail a 48-yarder, 10-3. The drive was the sixth-consecutive time A&M’s offense came off the field after three plays. Auburn responded with a worthless 7-play drive.

Price made a big catch to give A&M its first first down of the half. Yet, Auburn took the ball right back as Weigman was sacked and fumbled the ball. The Tigers were able to put a collection of rushes together to kick a 26-yard field goal, 13-3.

A&M’s second-longest rush of the game came with two minutes left, as Daniels rushed for 17, followed by the longest, a 38-yarder. Weigman found Preston in the endzone for the first touchdown of the game.

STUMBLED: There is no “all of the above” option. So instead, A&M’s lack of scoring is pretty atrocious. The fact that the Aggies were unable to score a touchdown in three quarters on a team that, on average, gives up 30.89 points a game is not only frightening, but it is a pretty large cry for help.

RUMBLED: Auburn’s run game. It has been quite apparent all season that the Aggies have struggled against the run, and tonight, struggled might be an understatement. The re-occurring issue was on display, once again, and A&M and D.J. Durkin looked clueless on how to stop it. The Tigers totaled 270 rushing yards, and those stats alone top A&M’s 215 total yards. 

STUMBLED: There is no “all of the above” option. So instead, A&M’s lack of scoring is pretty atrocious. The fact that the Aggies were unable to score a touchdown in three quarters on a team that, on average, gives up 30.89 points a game is not only frightening, but it is a pretty large cry for help.

TURNING POINT: When the Aggies totaled -2 yards in the third quarter, it was pretty clear the offense was checked out. After McKinnley Jackson recovered a fumble, A&M’s offense failed to gain even a yard. A&M did not have a first down the entire second half until the 6:36 mark of the fourth quarter.

UNSUNG HERO: Antonio Johnson. After missing three games due to a hamstring injury, Johnson left his impression on the field, totaling 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble. Safe to say, many are glad Johnson is an Aggie.

KEY STAT: Texas A&M will not qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2008. The last time A&M lost seven games in one season was in 2009, and Jimbo Fisher has never lost seven games in one season as a head coach. Fisher’s last losing record worse was in 1999 as an assistant coach at Cincinnati (3-8).

Scoring Summary

First-quarter

AUB: 1:33 - Robby Ashford 4-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Varrius Johnson. Drive: 4 plays, 62 yards. TOP: 2:03. Auburn 7, Texas A&M 0

Third-quarter

AUB: 0:39 - Alex McPherson 34-yard field goal. Drive: 4 plays, 9 yards. TOP: 2:01. Auburn 10, Texas A&M 0

Fourth-quarter

A&M: 0:39 - Randy Bond 48-yard field goal. Drive: 4 plays, 13 yards. TOP: 1:52. Auburn 10, Texas A&M 3

AUB: 3:02 - Alex McPherson 26-yard field goal. Drive: 6 plays, 23 yards. TOP: 2:32. Auburn 13, Texas A&M 0

A&M: 1:33 - Conner Weigman 17-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Preston. Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards. TOP: 1:24. Auburn 13, Texas A&M 10

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Post Game Review: Auburn 13, Texas A&M 10

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