The Texas A&M Aggies trailed the Auburn Tigers 20-14 late in the third quarter. It seemed like the Tigers were poised to cause a shakeup in the CFP Rankings and effectively knock the Aggies’ chances of sneaking into the Playoff out. But the Aggies would rally to score 17 straight points and win 31-20 to keep hope in College Station alive.
It didn’t come without a little luck either. Jalen Wydermyer caught a tipped pass in the end zone that ricocheted right into his hands to give A&M a 21-20 lead. Less than five minutes later, the Aggies took over after a three-and-out on a drive that lasted 1:31. Seven plays and 77 yards later, Ainas Smith rumbled into the end zone to propel the Aggies up 28-20. And after yet another three-and-out from Auburn, the Ags effectively knocked them out with a field goal by Seth Small.
It’s hard to put into words just how cataclysmic that sequence was for Auburn. The Tigers gained three yards in six plays on back-to-back drives that lasted just 3:01 in game time. Given that they had stymied the Aggies for much of the game up until that point it feels like a missed opportunity and then some. It was indeed a frustrating experience, especially considering all the factors around it.
Neither quarterback set the world on fire in this one. Kellen Mond was efficient, going 18 for 23 on his passes, but he amassed just 196 yards. Bo Nix was 15-for-23, with 144 yards. But he had no passing touchdowns to show for it. He did, however, have a crazy rushing touchdown and another rushing score to boot.
The ground game for both teams thrived and then some. Auburn averaged 6.5 yards per carry against the stout Aggie defense. Auburn meanwhile provided little resistance once again against their opponent on the ground. The Aggies ran for 313 yards while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. That type of performance will certainly grab your attention. They nearly had two 100-yard rushers, as Devon Achane finished one yard shy of joining Isaiah Spiller, who ran for 120 yards on 20 carries.
Texas A&M will not be playing in the SEC Championship Game after Alabama clinched their spot Saturday night. The Aggies do, however, still have some hope to make the Playoff. They just need... a lot to happen.