A football season with few high points for the Tigers nose-dived to a new low as Texas A&M smacked around the Tigers early and often in a 63-21 SEC victory. How bad was it for the Tigers? Consider these facts:
*The 63 points were the most ever surrendered by an Auburn football team at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The previous high of 56 came in a four-overtime game vs. Georgia the Tigers lost by a touchdown in 1996.
*The 63 points were five shy of the all-time highest points total an Auburn defense allowed. That game was in 1917 vs. Georgia Tech.
*Auburn gave up 671 yards to the Aggies. The previous high allowed by an AU defense was 625 yards vs. the Florida Gators in 1996.
*The Aggies, despite playing with their backup quarterbacks for a substantial portion of the second half, racked up 34 first downs vs. the Tigers, who were consistently dominated at the line of scrimmage by the Texas A&M?offense.
*Texas A&M averaged 8.3 yards per offensive snap and punted just one time. The only three possessions the Aggies did not score on were a missed field goal on the final play of the first half, one punt and their final possession of the fourth quarter when they took a knee to run out the clock.
*Auburn finished the first quarter with negative 10 yards of total offense while the Aggies gained 196 yards and a 21-0 lead.
*After scoring a touchdown for the fourth time in four possessions to take a 28-0 lead at the 13:45 mark of the second quarter, the visitors' yardage lead was 249 to minus two for the home team.
*At halftime the Tigers trailed 42-7 with Texas A&M scoring on each possession but its final one as the Aggies missed a long field goal as time expired in the period. The Aggies kept the ball for 50 plays in the first half and the gained 464 yards. Auburn gained 91 total yards on 25 plays.
Auburn fell to 1-7 overall with the loss and 0-6 in the SEC while the Aggies improved their record to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. Most of the crowd checked out long before the end of the game when it became apparent early the Tigers had no answers for the visitors from College Station.
Texas A&M redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel continued his impressive season by hitting 16-23 passes for 260 yards and two scores. He added three rushing touchdowns and 90 rushing yards on nine carries before retiring early in the third quarter with the victory in hand.
Auburn's third quarterback, freshman Jonathan Wallace, was one of the few bright spots for the Tigers. After starter Clint Moseley suffered an ankle injury on Auburn's third offensive play and did not return, Wallace split time with Kiehl Frazier the rest of the night.
Frazier hit 6-11 passes for 89 yards, but Wallace was more impressive. He completed 6-9 passes for 122 yards with touchdown passes to C.J. Uzomah and Emory Blake. Blake, a Texan, led the AU receivers with five catches for 106 yards.
Tre Mason added 80 yards on 12 carries and scored the only first half touchdown for the Tigers from a yard out to cap an 82-yard drive that covered nine plays.
C.J. Uzomah makes a catch for the Tigers.
While the offense had its struggles, especially in the first half, the defense was dominated from the start to the finish the game. Auburn coach Gene Chizik said it was a total team breakdown on the defensive side of the ball.
"You start defensively with really not being able to slow them down all night," Chizik noted. "I think that would be accurate to say we couldn't stop their run game. We couldn't stop them throwing the football. Obviously, they punted one time all night so that pretty much tells the whole story.
"Offensively, we sputtered early in the game and never could seem to get on track and obviously against an offense like that you have got to be able to get some first downs and you have got to be able to move the football some and take a little bit of the pressure off the defense. Early on we certainly weren't able to do that either."
Asked about the problems the defense had on the front seven against an offense that ran the ball 48 times for 352 yards, the coach said, "I would say that as the front 11. I didn't think that we could tackle. I didn't think we could cover. I didn't think we could rush the quarterback tonight."
Chizik said that he is not changing his approach to this nightmare of a season. "My job is to continue to lead these young guys and we are going to go back to work and try to get a win next week," he said.
Commenting on his team's mindset, he said, "It is a locker room that is very disappointed. They are hurting. They are used to winning, they like to win and that just hasn't happened near enough, obviously, in the last week."
Asked about the job security of his assistant coaches or himself, Chizik said, "I have got one concern and that one concern is those guys in the locker room and trying to improve to get a win."
The Tigers will take on New Mexico State next Saturday at 11:30 a.m.