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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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Turnovers and run defense plague A&M in 26-10 loss to Auburn

Freshman+quarterback+Kyler+Murray+evades+a+tackle+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+Saturday+matchup+against+Auburn.
Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson

Freshman quarterback Kyler Murray evades a tackle during Texas A&M’s Saturday matchup against Auburn.

On a cold, wet night at Kyle Field, A&M appeared to have its own storm cloud hovering above them.
Auburn outgained A&M 443-303 on offense, and the turnovers plagued the offense once again as the Tigers shut down the Aggies in a 26-10 loss in their final SEC home game this season. 
“I thought we moved the ball well early in the game,” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We threw two turnovers in the red zone going in to score twice…that’s not good…turnovers were the difference. We lost the turnover ratio three to zero and gave up over 300 yards rushing. It is hard to win a game that way.”
The Aggies (6-3, 3-3 SEC) offense went to work right away, driving deep into Auburn territory on the first drive of the game. However, they had to settle for a Taylor Bertolet 50-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. 
Auburn (5-4, 2-4 SEC) answered the Aggies call on the next drive. The Tigers were precise and methodical on an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, which was finished off with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Johnson to Marcus Davis for a 7-3 Tiger lead.
A&M marched to the Auburn 37-yard line when Murray decided to fire his first deep ball of the game. In a one-on-one matchup, Damion Ratley could not pull it down in the endzone, and Auburn defensive back Carlton Davis picked the ball off to neutralize the Aggie threat. 
On Auburn’s next drive, Jovon Robinson ran all over the A&M defense, busting out a 45 yard run to set up the Tigers deep in Aggie territory. Robinson then finished it off with a one-yard touchdown run to give Auburn a 14-3 lead.
The run defense for A&M was porous all night, as Auburn to amassed 311 yards rushing, led by Robinson with 27 carries for 159 yards and one touchdown. 
Murray delivered his second interception of the game on the next drive. With A&M moving the ball, and deep in the Auburn red zone, Murray fired a pass right into the waiting arms of Auburn’s Justin Garrett, and the Aggies left points on the field for the second time.
On the night, Murray was 13-for-23 for 105 yards passing and three interceptions. His legs, which usually electrify the crowd and cause headaches for defensive coordinators, never truly got going, as he rushed for just 37 yards on eight carries.
“There is nothing we can do about this loss form here…obviously we are going to take what we can and learn from it…we just have to move on,” center Mike Matthews said. “We can’t just sit here and be frustrated with ourselves…it is in the past…it’s time to move on and win next week’s game.”
The turnover bug bit A&M again in the second half. The struggling Murray tried to force a pass into a small window, and Auburn’s Blake Countess intercepted the pass to set Auburn up at the A&M 44-yard line.
The A&M defense made adjustments in the second half, and effectively stopped the Tigers when they got near the end zone. The defense only allowed 12 points in the second half, all of them being field goals.
FInally, after a night of frustration and poor execution on offense, the Aggies found the end zone for the first time. After Murray took a hit on the sideline, he left the game and did not return. Backup Jake Hubenak came in and threw his first touchdown to Speedy Noil to pull A&M within 10. 
Trailing 26-10, A&M desperately tried to put together a comeback, but Hubenak’s pass was tipped away on fourth and 14 in Auburn terriroty late in the fourth quarter. Auburn took over and ran out the clock to give A&M its second home loss of the season. 
Next up, A&M hosts Western Carolina in its home finale next weekend. 

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  • Junior linebacker Shaan Washington makes a tackle during Texas A&M’s Saturday matchup against Auburn.

    Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Sophomore running back James White moves the ball  upfield during Texas A&M’s Saturday matchup against Auburn.

    Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Sophomore receiver Speedy Noil returns a kickoff during Texas A&M’s Saturday loss to Auburn.

    Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Junior defensive end Daeshon Hall pressures the backfield during Texas A&M’s Saturday loss to Auburn.

    Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Sophomore quarterback Jake Hubenak looks for an open receiver during Texas A&M’s Saturday loss to Auburn.

    Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson
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