Texas A&M vs. Auburn: Complete Game Preview
The No. 20 Texas A&M football team will take on the Auburn Tigers on Saturday in Auburn, AL. It is an SEC West matchup that will be the first meeting between the two schools since the 1986 Cotton Bowl.
The Aggies' 36-16 victory in that game was highlighted by a tremendous goal-line stand where they stuffed Bo Jackson on four consecutive runs from the 2-yard line.
This game will not feature any Heisman Trophy winners, but it is an important game for the Aggies. They are still two wins short of qualifying for a bowl game.
This is a detailed preview of the Texas A&M versus Auburn game.
Who: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Auburn Tigers
When: 6:00 PM CDT
Stadium: Jordan-Hare Stadium
Radio: WTAW 1620, Sirius 139, XM 201
Rankings: Texas A&M BCS No. 20, Auburn UR
Records: Texas A&M 5-2, 2-2, Auburn 1-6, 0-5
Texas A&M Depth Chart
QB: Johnny Manziel
Backup: Matt Joeckel
WR: Mike Evans
Backup: Derel Walker
LT: Luke Joeckel
Backup: Germain Ifedi
LG: Jarvis Harrison
Backup: Germain Ifedi
C: Patrick Lewis
Backup: Mike Matthews
RG: Cedric Ogbuehi
Backup: Ben Compton
RT: Jake Matthews
Backup: Joseph Cheek
TE: Michael Lamothe
Backup: Nehemiah Hicks
WR: Uzoma Nwachukwu
Backup: Sabian Holmes
WR: Ryan Swope
Backup: Malcome Kennedy
WR: Kenric McNeal
Backup: Thomas Johnson
TB: Ben Malena
Backup: Christine Michael
DE: Gavin Stansbury
Backup: Julien Obioha
NG: Kirby Ennis
Backup: Jonathan Mathis
DT: Spencer Nealy
Backup: Ivan Robinson
Rush: Damontre Moore
Backup: Tyrone Taylor
WLB: Steven Jenkins
Backup: Donnie Baggs
MLB: Jonathan Stewart
Backup: Justin Bass
SLB: Sean Porter
Backup: Michael Richardson
CB: Deshazor Everett
Backup: Dustin Harris
CB: De'Vante Harris
Backup: Floyd Raven
BS: Deshazor Everett
Backup: Steve Campbell
FS: Steven Terrell
Backup: Toney Hurd, Jr.
Auburn Depth Chart
QB 10 KIEHL FRAZIER (6-2, 226, So.)
15 Clint Moseley (6-4, 229, Jr.)
RB 23 ONTERIO McCALEBB (5-11, 173, Sr.)
21 Tre Mason (5-10, 198, So.) --OR--
22 Mike Blakely (5-9, 206, RFr.)
FB 35 JAY PROSCH (6-0, 260, Jr.)
48 Blake Burgess (6-3, 249, Jr.)
WR 80 EMORY BLAKE (6-2, 193, Sr.)
18 Sammie Coates (6-2, 200, R-Fr.)
84 Ricardo Louis (6-2, 210, Fr.)
WR 1 TROVON REED (6-0, 190, So.) -- OR--
85 TRAVANTE STALLWORTH (5-9, 199, Sr.)
WR 4 QUAN BRAY (5-10, 185, So.)
89 Jaylon Denson (6-3, 211, So.)
TE 11 Brandon Fulse (6-4, 249, So.)
81 C.J. Uzomah (6-4, 250, So.)
LT 73 GREG ROBINSON (6-5, 311, R-Fr.)
72 Shon Coleman (6-6, 302, R-Fr.)
LG 71 JOHN SULLEN (6-5, 313, Sr.)
63 Alex Kozan (6-4, 294, Fr.)
C 65 TUNDE FARIYIKE (6-2, 301, So.)
71 John Sullen (6-5, 313, Sr.)
RG 62 CHAD SLADE (6-5, 301, So.)
75 Christian Westerman (6-4, 298, R-Fr.)
RT 56 AVERY YOUNG (6-6, 295, Fr.)
51 Patrick Miller (6-7, 288, Fr.)
DE 95 DEE FORD (6-2, 246, Jr.)
13 Craig Sanders (6-4, 257, Jr.) --OR--
94 Nosa Eguae (6-3, 268, Jr.)
DT 98 ANGELO BLACKSON (6-4, 308, So.)
92 Kenneth Carter (6-4, 289, Jr.)
96 Devaunte Sigler (6-4, 291, So.)
DT 54 JEFFREY WHITAKER (6-4, 307, Jr.)
90 Gabe Wright (6-3, 299, So.)
91 Tyler Nero (6-2, 277, Fr.)
DE 55 COREY LEMONIER (6-4, 246, Jr.)
10 LaDarius Owens (6-2, 260, So.)
SLB 35 JONATHAN EVANS (5-11, 231, Sr.)
26 Justin Garrett (6-1, 215, So.)
MLB 5 JAKE HOLLAND (6-1, 241, Jr.)
56 Ashton Richardson (6-1, 218, Sr.)
WLB 25 DAREN BATES (5-11, 215, Sr.)
17 Kris Frost (6-2, 233, R-Fr.)
CB 11 CHRIS DAVIS (5-11, 200, Jr.)
6 Jonathon Mincy (5-10, 190, So.)
FS 24 RYAN SMITH (6-2, 204, Jr.)
31 Trent Fisher (6-1, 200, So.)
SS 9 JERMAINE WHITEHEAD (5-11, 202, So.)
12 Demetruce McNeal (6-2, 187, Jr.)
CB 19 RYAN WHITE (5-11, 198, Jr.)
22 T’Sharvan Bell (6-0, 190, Sr.)
What Happened to the Aggies Last Week?
The Aggies dropped a 24-19 decision to the No. 6 LSU Tigers on Saturday. The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the A&M.
The Aggies turned the ball over four times, and LSU scored 21 points off those turnovers which was the difference in the game.
Johnny Manziel passed for 276 yards but had three interceptions and was kept out of the end zone for the first time all season. With a freshman quarterback and many freshmen playing prominent roles on the team, this season is a learning process for the Ags.
The loss to LSU was just another chance for the Aggies to learn what cannot happen if they want to win games in the SEC.
What Happened to Auburn Last Week?
The Auburn Tigers lost 17-13 to Vanderbilt in Nashville. It was the Tigers fourth straight loss and their fifth conference loss of the season.
The Tigers were out-gained by the Commodores 382 total yards to 212. Auburn struggled to run the ball and to stop the run. The Tigers' defense allowed 209 yards rushing and 4.6 yards per carry to Vanderbilt.
Auburn was only able to rush for 103 yards on 3.1 yards per carry.
The Tigers have to win all of the remaining games on their schedule to qualify for a bowl game.
What a Win This Week Would Mean for the Aggies and the Tigers
A win against Auburn would give the Aggies their second SEC road win of the season. It would also mean that they are still in contention for the SEC Championship Game. A win would be the Aggies' sixth win of the season, which would mean they only need one more to be bowl eligible.
A win for the Tigers would be a big upset and basically the only bright spot in a forgettable season. With Auburn's struggles on the field this year, it is likely that this is Gene Chizik's last on the Plains as the head coach of the Tigers.
Chizik has personally lost three straight games to A&M, so a win would be some consolation to him on his way out the door. The Tigers need to win this game if they want to keep their bowl hopes alive.
Key Player for the Aggies
The most important player on the field for the Aggies on Saturday will be middle linebacker Jonathan Stewart. Auburn is a very poor football team, but it is not devoid of talent.
The Tigers have two very talented running backs in Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb. Both backs average 5.1 yards per carry and possess enough speed to score on any play.
Auburn will try to keep the Aggies offense off the field and control the clock with its running game. Stewart needs to have a good day against the run and put the Tigers into 3rd-and-long situations on offense.
If Stewart plays well and Auburn is forced to pass, the Aggies should not have a problem getting their sixth win of the season.
Key Player for Auburn
Junior defensive end Corey Lemonier is the best football player on the Auburn team. He has tallied 22 tackled with five sacks on the season.
He is a tremendous pass-rushing threat and could potentially disrupt the Aggie offense all game on Saturday night. The Aggies will have to account for Lemonier on every play.
The 6'5", 246 lb athlete is the ideal size for a defensive end in the 4-3 scheme. Lemonier will play in the NFL. It will be the job of Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews to keep him in check on Saturday.
Aggies Will Win If.....
The Aggies will win at Auburn if they limit turnovers and stuff the Tiger running game. Jordan-Hare Stadium is a very tough venue to get out of with a win, especially at night time.
The Agges cannot afford to turn the ball over like they did against LSU or Ole Miss if they want to win the football game. Much like Arkansas earlier in the year, Auburn is simply looking for a reason to give up.
If the Aggies come out and get a two-score lead early, the Auburn players will pack it in. If the Aggies turn the ball over and give the Tigers hope, they will be in for the fight of their life.
The Ags need to take care of business on the road. They are a better football team than Auburn; they just need to go on the road and prove it.
Auburn Will Win If.....
Auburn will get a win if they force turnovers and get an inspired effort on both sides of the ball against the Aggies. The Tigers have one of the worst offenses and defenses in the nation.
They are only scoring 15 points and averaging 276 yards of total offense per game. They are allowing 25 points and 411 yards of total offense per game.
The Tigers are not a good football team but they are dangerous at home. In Mason, McCalebb, Lemonier and Emory Blake the Tigers have multiple future NFL players on their roster.
They have the talent to play with and beat anyone, they just need it all to show up on the field at the same time. If the Tigers give the crowd a reason to get into the game early, they could ride that atmosphere and that talent to a victory.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31, Auburn 23
Nothing is easy on the road in the SEC and this will not be an easy game for the Aggies. Auburn has a lot of speed on offense especially in their running game. Blake is an excellent wide receiver and the Aggie secondary has allowed some big plays in the passing game.
The Aggies should be able to score enough to win this game, but it will be a fight until the end. Expect the Tigers to rally around their coach after the death of his mother. They will come out on an emotional high.
The Aggies will have to deal with that initial burst out of the gate and keep their heads on the road. The Tigers can play above their heads at home. The Aggies just need to limit their mistakes, and they should be able to get out of Jordan-Hare with a win.