Stop me if you've heard this before:
At home, a Top 5 SEC team lost after fumbling twice in the fourth quarter on its own half of the field and lost a star wide receiver to a leg injury. This week, it was Auburn on the losing end against Texas A&M, 41-38, at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The unranked Aggies jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, thanks to a pair of Kyle Allen touchdown passes. Auburn came back to tie the game at the end of the first quarter, but A&M took a 35-17 lead into halftime after another pair of touchdown passes from Allen and a blocked Auburn field goal returned for a touchdown by Deshazor Everett as the first half expired.
The first half was marred by a game-ending injury to Auburn wide receiver Duke Williams. Williams was hit in the knee by De'Vante Harris' helmet after a catch, had to be helped from the field and did not return to the game. Williams was examined on the sideline by Dr. James Andrews and went to the locker room on crutches.
After coming back from a 10-point third quarter deficit last week at Ole Miss, Auburn came back in the second half again. The Tigers were able to get to within seven points early in the fourth quarter after a 31-yard pass from Nick Marshall to Quan Bray, then to a three-point deficit after a six-yard touchdown run for Marshall.
After the lead was trimmed to three, Texas A&M went into a shell and nearly cost itself the game. After a three-play, two-yard drive by A&M, Auburn got the ball back and drove down the field to the two-yard line. A botched exchange between Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne gave the ball back to A&M, but the Aggies drive ended with another three-and-out, barely getting out of their own end zone on the third down.
Auburn got the ball back with 1:28 left at the A&M 42-yard line after the punt. Two plays later, Auburn had gotten to the 28-yard line and was close to game-tying field goal range. But that led to another mistake: Center Reese Dismukes appeared to be expecting Marshall under center, and when his snap fell to the ground, A&M pounced on it to win the game.
Auburn's loss overshadows an outstanding day for their offense. The Tigers ran up 582 yards of offense, including 363 yards on the ground. Artis-Payne ran 30 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen performed admirably in his first road start. Allen had the four first-half touchdown passes, ending up with 277 yards on a 19-of-29 day with one interception.
Auburn is now likely out of contention for the SEC West title, barring a chaos scenario of multiple teams tied at 6-2, as they would need Mississippi State to lose to Alabama, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.