Texas A&M held off a furious late rally by No. 3 Auburn to earn a huge 41-38 upset win on the road. Auburn uncharacteristically fumbled twice in the last 2:37 to kill any chance it had of completing its comeback attempt.
The first half was marked by major streaks. Texas A&M opened the game with a quick 14-point blitz, with Kyle Allen connecting with Malcome Kennedy and Josh Reynolds for long touchdowns. Auburn evened the score before the end of the first quarter, though, on a pair of Cameron Artis-Payne touchdown runs. Then A&M scored 21 points in the second quarter, including a blocked field goal at the gun returned for a touchdown by Deshazor Everett.
The second half predictably tightened up. Auburn's offense is too good and Texas A&M's defense is too suspect for this game to have remained static, and the entire second half felt like Auburn was creeping back towards an inevitable victory.
Funny thing, though: That inevitable victory never came. The Tigers were inside the Texas A&M 5-yard line and about to take the lead, but a Nick Marshall fumble with 2:37 left threw a wrench in their chances.
Auburn got the ball back again after a Texas A&M punt, but another fumbled snap was recovered by the Aggies with 54 seconds left, icing the win for the road team.
GIF credit: CBS
Three things we learned
1. The SEC West race is down a contender. With Auburn now with two losses, the SEC West will likely come down to whoever wins when Mississippi State travels to Alabama. The Tigers could play spoiler against Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but this is a scenario with an increasing number of contingencies. The bottom line here is this: With two losses, Auburn is out of contention for both the SEC and the national championship.
2. The Aggies strike a death blow to the narrative. The narrative late in this game was the total opposite of the result. Auburn tends to get the lucky breaks in tight spots, and the A&M defense has generally buckled under the pressure. This time, however, it was Auburn with not one, but two crushing mistakes late in the game to kill their own chances. This is simply not something you see very often.
3. Kyle Allen is the real deal. The true freshman signal caller got a ton of hype as a recruit, and it looks like it was warranted. Allen came out firing for the Aggies, throwing four touchdowns in the first half. The defense ultimately didn't hold up its end of the bargain this time, but if Texas A&M is going to continue to be in shootouts then it's good to have a quarterback like Allen at your disposal.