Anthony Schwartz lit the fuse!
(John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports)
War Eagle everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign Report on Auburn’s SEC road opening 28–20 win over number-17-ranked Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. This game almost got away late, as the Aggies rolled over the Tiger defense in the 4th quarter to the tune of 17 points. Auburn had to recover an onside kick and run out the clock with a first down late.
Quite frankly, I was worried about how Auburn was going to manage to move the ball against a very stingy defense. The first drive featured an ineligible receiver downfield penalty, and bell-cow running back JaTarvious Whitlow was nowhere to be seen. I don’t think the Aggies were really prepared for the quicker Shaun Shivers. Nor were they prepared to see Bo Nix keep the ball on the zone read. A few plays later, Auburn caught the Aggies with a reverse to Anthony Schwartz, and the speedy wide receiver was off to the races for a lead that would have been good all the way into the 4th quarter.
In Auburn’s third series, Bo Nix threw just enough to keep the Aggie defense honest, and Auburn methodically moved the ball down to the 6-yard line. From there, Joey Gatewood came in at quarterback and surprised everyone in the stadium when he threw the ball to John Samuel Schenker, who was wide open in the end zone for the score.
Trailing 14–3 at the half, the Aggies fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, and Auburn was in business at the Aggie 38. Bo Nix completed passes to Jay Jay Wilson, Anthony Schwartz on a pop pass, and a slant and crash to Seth Williams for the touchdown. The Aggies were in trouble from that point on, trailing 21–3.
Texas A&M would cut the Auburn lead to 21–10 early in the 4th quarter, but Auburn went 69 yards in 12 plays, mostly on the ground, with a well-rested JaTarvious Whitlow leaning on a tired Aggie defense. The Aggies would add a field goal drive and a late touchdown drive against a pretty soft Auburn prevent defense to account for the final margin.
The Auburn defense played lights out for 3 quarters and largely stoned the Aggie rushing attack. Unfortunately in the 4th quarter, Auburn had no answer for quick passes from Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond and surrendered a ton of yardage. Other teams have also exploited that against Auburn this season. I’d expect Mississippi State to go right to that strategy next Saturday evening against the Tigers.
Auburn had the best special teams day of the year, allowing 7 total punt return yards on 3 returns. Arryn Siposs flipped the field on punts. Anders Carlson was again successful on every kick, and Auburn sported dangerous return units. About the only quibble I can come up with here is one second-half punt fielded at the 4-yard line.
Unit grades after the jump!
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Here is the Top 25 leader board for week one. It's NOT TOO LATE for you to get in on the action. Remember, we drop the lowest TWO SCORES at the end of the season so there's still time sign to up. The Golden Bo Trophy awaits the winner.Read Full Story