This day in the SEC will be remembered forever, or until the end of the season. It wasn’t enough that three heavyweights lost in the early Saturday games, but Texas A&M lost a lead on their home field in the fourth quarter. The Aggies’ dream of a national title disappeared with the 45-41 loss in College Station.
While leading throughout the majority of the game, Texas A&M was unable to hold off a much improved Auburn Tigers team. Texas A&M gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter, but it seems their hopes were dashed on the offensive end.
Johnny Manziel had the game in the palm of his hand and had Texas A&M driving inside the 10 yard line when tragedy struck. After a scintillating pump fake, Manziel put his head down on a second down run, and came up with a bad throwing arm.
Manziel had to come out of the game, and Texas A&M had to settle for a field goal.
Auburn immediately answered with a Nick Marshall touchdown run to trim the lead to 34-31.
In a game that both teams had to match score for score, Texas A&M’s ensuing possession was detrimental. After failing to move the ball with Matt Joeckel at the helm, Auburn forced a punt and drove right back down the field to take the lead.
In essence that was the game changing drive. Johnny Manziel came back in the game and drove the Aggies right down field for another touchdown. He finished it off with a one yard touchdown run.
Still, it wasn’t enough with the Aggies’ defense on the filed. Auburn drove right back down to take the lead with 1:19 left. The biggest play came on a third down pass by Nick Marshall.
Texas A&M had one final drive to make something happen, but Auburn brought heavy pressure once the Aggies got within scoring range. A debatable horse collar on third down was not called on the deciding drive. We will be seeing that play for awhile with mixed views.
Out of all the talented offensive displays, wide receiver Mike Evans may have been the most impressive. He finished the game with 11 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns.
Now Auburn is a legitimate SEC West title contender with this huge win. With their lone loss to LSU, the Tigers have work to do, but they just are definitely in the running.