Texas A&M went on the road for its SEC opener and came away with an impressive victory over Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Aggies rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense and remained undefeated with their third consecutive victory to start the 2016 season.
Here’s a closer look at the Aggies’ 29-16 victory:
What it means: Any time you can get a victory in the SEC it’s big, especially a road win. But when that game is secured over a West Division opponent, it is doubly meaningful. The Aggies improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play and are off on the right foot.
What I liked: The offense moved smoothly at times, especially in the first half, under the leadership of QB Trevor Knight, who continues to look more and more comfortable with OC Noel Mazzone’s system. The Aggies rolled up 253 yards in the first half, including 187 through the air where Knight displayed leadership in throwing accurately for the most part on both short and long pass routes. The Aggies’ defense also played well. Even though giving up yardage, they buckled down in key situations and bent but did not break.
Kamryn Pettway led Auburn’s offense with 123 rushing yards and a touchdown.
What I didn’t like: Even though they came up with big stops throughout the game in crucial situations, the Aggies’ defense still gave up way too much real estate overall. Auburn’s balanced offense gave Texas A&M problems between the 20-yard lines, which allowed the Tigers to extend possession, leaving the Aggies defense on the field far too long. In addition, Texas A&M’s inability to convert on third down stopped several potential scoring opportunities. The Aggies converted just 2-of-15 third down chances.
Auburn continued to rotate its quarterbacks, to varying levels of success. Sean White started but threw for just 126 yards. John Franklin III provided a spark with his legs, rushing nine times for 47 yards and also completing 4-of-8 passes for 37 yards.
Who’s the man: Knight threw the ball well and made good decisions in running the offense. Knight completed 20 of 40 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. His poise in running the Aggies offense enabled them to move the ball on a consistent basis.
Key play(s): With the game still in doubt midway through the fourth quarter, RB Trayveon Williams put it away with an 89-yard touchdown run that gave the Aggies an insurmountable 29-10 lead.
What’s next: The Aggies take on Arkansas next Saturday in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. CT.
Auburn (1-2) hosts LSU next Saturday.