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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M, Auburn alumni talk budding rivalry

Mike+Evans
Photo by File
Mike Evans

For the past couple of years, A&M and Auburn have duked it out with some of their best players in history, from Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans to Tre Mason and Sammie Coates.
In its first season in the SEC during 2012, Texas A&M handed Auburn its biggest loss at home with a 63-21 victory at Jordan-Hare stadium. In the two games since then, the two teams have participated in two games separated by four points or less.
In 2013, No. 24 Auburn traveled to College Station to take on No. 7 A&M. The Tigers narrowly defeated the Aggies 45-41 with the game coming down to a final fourth down in Auburn territory. Former A&M defensive back and current Washington Redskin Deshazor Everett said it was a tough loss.
“That one was a rough game but we competed,” Everett said. “We should’ve pulled off the win but unfortunately some things didn’t go our way just like last year’s game, things didn’t go their way. Anybody can win any Saturday in the SEC. You can’t go out there expecting a win, you have to go out there ready to play and give it your all.”
A year later in 2014, A&M traveled to take on No. 3 Auburn, and after a wild series of events, came out on top 41-38. Everett played in that game, and as he recalls, it was something he’ll always remember.
“It was loud in that stadium. There was big plays, and it was crazy,” Everett said. “The fumble we recovered on what was pretty much the goal line just to stop the touchdown was crazy and the field goal block that I returned for a touchdown, those are memories that I’ll always have … some of those things will be always stuck in my memory. “
Despite the Tigers’ 4-4 record, three of their four losses this season have been by a single possession. Mike Evans, arguably the greatest wide receiver in A&M history, said he thinks Auburn is a force that should not be taken lightly.
“They’re not as good as the past couple years, but they’re still dangerous so we can’t take them lightly,” Evans said. “They’re 4-4 but you can’t take any SEC opponent lightly or they’ll hit you in the mouth so we’ve got to come with it. They’ve got a very exotic offense so it’s going to be tough for our defense. So we’ve got to figure out what’s going on, but after we feel them out, I think we can win.”
Current Pittsburgh Steelers and former Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates, who played a huge role in Auburn’s national championship run with seven receiving touchdowns in 2013, said he thinks the Tigers have figured things out.
“They have a great team,” Coates said. “I’ve seen the way they are playing and they are starting to turn it around. I can tell they are starting to get leadership back. They look like they’re going to turn it around.”
Evans compared Kyler Murray’s performance to that of Johnny Manziel.
“I think he played great. He draws a lot of Manziel comparisons and they’re fair. It’s a good comparison. They’re both smaller quarterbacks,” Evans said. “They’re elusive, they can run and they’re very smart so I like them both a lot. Hopefully he can keep it up.”
Everett said he was pleased with Murray’s performance against South Carolina and that he is eager to see what the dual threat quarterback does in the future with the Aggies.
“It was really impressive,” Everett said. “Just to see how he handles that pressure on him to be a true freshman and to go out there and compete against a good team in the SEC. I just want to see him achieve new heights throughout his career.”
Everett returned to Aggieland and attended Saturday’s game against South Carolina. Everett said he loved the fan turnout at the game and he enjoyed seeing the newly renovated stadium.
“It was very nice. I wish I had an opportunity to play in it,” Everett said. “It’s always good to come home and visit and see it. All the players they’re going out there and working hard every day so I mean they deserve to go out there and have the best.”
The Aggies have arguably the best receiving corps in the nation with Christian Kirk, Josh Reynolds, Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals Jones leading the way.
“I think they’re all great play makers,” Evans said. “[Christian Kirk] being a true freshman is one of the best in the country and he’s very dynamic. He can return punts and kicks and do things like that. As well as [Speedy Noil] he’s a little banged up this year but he’s one of my favorite players. [Ricky Seals Jones] is always working hard and Josh is a beast.”
Evans said even though they struggled for a while, the Aggies can still finish the season on a positive note.
“I think they’re very young and have a lot of talent,” Evans said. “The defense has improved a lot. We have a lot of explosive players on the offensive side of the ball. They can be special, they have the two losses but I think they can finish out strong.”

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  • Deshazor Everett

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