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Auburn Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies Preview: Approaches

The Tigers and the Aggies had very different experiences last week. But their approach to this game is likely to be similar, and likely to involve offense

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

It's funny how seasons shape up sometimes. This game didn't leap off the schedule, really, until the last couple of weeks. But now it feels really important for both of these teams. Both of them come in from very different directions, but that leads both of them to need a win for the good of the season.

Auburn comes in after one of the easiest games of the season. Having blasted Western Carolina 62-3 -- which really isn't all that impressive -- the Tigers now stand one game away from bowl eligibility and have a not-ludicrous chance of playing for the SEC West. At the very least, Auburn has served notice that these are not Gene Chizik's Tigers any more. The rushing game is generating 287 yards a game, seventh in the FBS; the offense also gets back Nick Marshall this week after he sat out the game against the Catamounts.

Texas A&M, meanwhile, comes in from what could be considered a low. Perhaps not the lowest point of the year -- that would probably be the aftermath of the loss to Alabama -- but a near-miss against Ole Miss that could, at the very least, undermine some of the team's confidence in itself. Not that a team that has Johnny Manziel under center is every going to lack too much for confidence, but I digress.

The Aggies have one of the best offenses in the country, averaging 586.5 yards a game, but they still look at times like a Big 12 team trying to win in the SEC. Texas A&M ranks outside the Top 100 in the FBS in total defense, rushing defense and passing yards allowed. This game really does have all the makings of a track meet, and many of those makings are on Texas A&M's side of the field.

And when games turn into barn-burners, they have a tendency to get out of hand, and very volatile. Auburn pulls the stunner.

Auburn 38, Texas A&M 33