Your Fightin Texas Aggies open SEC play with a double-digit, spread-covering win over the Auburn Tigers. A&M racked up 400 yards of offense, held Auburn to exactly 200, and managed to overcome a lot of issues to put the game away late on the back of a 79-yard run by Amari Daniels.
We need to acknowledge Conner/Max which we’ll do at the end.
Let’s acknowledge something first: Auburn isn't good. They might be good in the future, but they’re not good right now. But opponents don't really matter, this is about evaluating our own effort. Let’s break it down.
THIRD QUARTER DOMINATION
This game was super weird. It was 6-3 at the half with both teams having roughly the same offensive output. I don't know that any of us felt all that great about what was to come in the second half. Play calling seemed off, OL was struggling...it just wasn't good.
Third quarter we racked up 146 yards (23 rushing/123 passing) 2 TDs and gave up only 2...yes TWO yards to Auburn.
I don't know how good we are but it’s been said that good teams manage the middle 8 (4 minutes before half first four out of the half) well. Feels like we did that today
Give it up to them, they had a really nice day. You can argue about 3-man 4 4-man fronts however long you want but Durkin operates by varying his front and not letting the QB know where pressure is coming from and it worked today against Robbie Ashford and Peyton Thorne.
Defense gave up 56 yards passing/144 rushing 76 of which came in the 4th) and held Auburn to 3.1 yards a play. That’s a solid day.
SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS
As mentioned earlier Auburn is not a good team and truthfully this could have and should have gotten out of hand early. 2 FGs to start. 3 straight punts to end the 1st half, and then that absolute comedy of errors where holding penalties that negated incredible plays by Ainias and Evan...capped off with the Rueben Owens fumble. We are better than Auburn. We are the reason that this game felt so stressful. We have to figure out how to get out of our own way.
Conner struggled early, and I’m not sure how much of that was a function of what felt like an incredibly conservative game plan to start.
Side note: we keep talking about omg is Jimbo calling plays?! No. Petrino is calling plays but they’re all involved in game planning and obviously for whatever reason the offensive staff decided that the uptempo stuff wasn't gonna work this week.
But back to the point, our OL missed a block, Conner took a nasty hit and was visibly in pain and limped off to the locker room and we didn't see him for the rest of the game. Max came in and ran the offense well going 7/11 for 123 yards with 2 TDs.
Where does that leave us? Maybe Conner is good to go against Arkansas, maybe he’s not. I don't really know. I know Max is good enough to win games, but it feels like they both have the same floor, but Conner’s ceiling is undeniably higher.
Also...when things happen 1 time oh well. When things happen twice its a coincidence. When things happen 3 times it's a trend. Three years running now with our starting QB getting injured in the first 3 games. I don't know what to make of that. Maybe it's nothing.
Solid win that could have been better but could have been better on the heels of a double-digit win is a good enough place to be. I know this game felt weird but maybe it’s just preparing us for the inevitable weirdness that always happens when we play the Hogs in Jerrworld.
Either way, your Aggies are 3-1, and 1-0 in the SEC. Let’s keep this momentum going