Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
The Tigers return home for a date with the Aggies.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES
at AUBURN TIGERS
Saturday, 6 p.m. CT, Jordan-Hare Stadium
ESPNU (Play-by-play: Clay Matvick, Analysis: Matt Stinchcomb, Sideline: Allison Williams)
Opening line: Texas A&M -8½ | Over/under: 53
Series history: Texas A&M leads 2-0
Last meeting: Texas A&M 36, Auburn 16, Jan. 1, 1986, Cotton Bowl, Dallas
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (5-2, 2-2 SEC)
Head coach: Kevin Sumlin (First year: 5-2, fifth year overall: 40-19)
Offensive coordinator: Kliff Kingsbury (spread/multiple) | Defensive coordinator: Mark Snyder (4-3)
Texas A&M comes into Auburn with a terrifying offense, averaging 524.6 yards and 43.0 points per game, both of which rank ninth nationally. Led by freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, A&M gains 303.3 yards on the ground and 221.3 yards through the air, good for 17th and 19th in the country, respectively. The Aggies aren't nearly as good on defense, but they're still respectable. A&M allows 392.7 yards per game, which ranks 64th, but the Aggies give up 22.1 points per game, ranking 38th.
In their last game against LSU, A&M had the Tigers on the ropes at Kyle Field, as the Aggies jumped out to a 12-0 lead midway through the second quarter. LSU took the lead with two scores in the final 2:05 of the half and extended that advantage to 24-12 with 3:32 to play in regulation. A&M scored again to cut the lead to 24-19, but LSU recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock. Manziel had an off day against the stiff Tiger defense, completing 29 of 56 passes for 276 yards and three interceptions.
KEY AGGIES ON OFFENSE
Johnny Manziel, QB -- With a nickname like "Johnny Football," it's no surprise that Manziel is the Aggies' biggest threat. In addition to ranking second in the SEC with 279.4 passing yards per game, he is also tied for first among all rushers, gaining 100.4 yards per game. With 14 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns, Manziel has been called "Baby Cam" by some. We scoff at that.
Ben Malena, RB -- Malena is A&M's leading running back, but he is without a doubt the Aggies' second rushing option. The junior averages just 10.3 carries and 66.0 yards per game, but he is gaining a healthy 6.4 yards per rush. With LSU's defense focusing on Manziel, Malena picked up 82 yards and a score on 12 carries
Mike Evans, WR -- Evans is Manziel's favorite target. He averages 6.0 catches for 89.3 yards per game and is gaining 14.9 yards per reception. Evans has only found the end zone twice this year, but he is a valuable piece to the Aggie offense.
KEY AGGIES ON DEFENSE
Damontre Moore, DE -- Moore is the Aggie defense. He has collected 9.5 of A&M's 21 sacks (45.2 percent) and 17 of the Aggies' 49 tackles for loss (34.6 percent). Both of those numbers lead the SEC. No other A&M defender has more than two sacks or 3.5 tackles for loss.
Dustin Harris, CB -- Harris has done a nice job this year, breaking up nine passes. The senior has 21 tackles, ranking ninth on the team.
Jonathan Stewart, MLB -- Stewart is second on the team in tackles with 48. He has a half sack and half tackle for loss this year, and he has broken up four passes.