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SNAP JUDGMENTS: #8 Auburn 28, #16 Texas A&M 20

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Is it... looking up?

Auburn v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Auburn beat Texas A&M 28-20 yesterday, but the Aggies had to mount a huge fourth quarter comeback to even make it look respectable. The defense suffocated Kellen Mond and put Kyle Field on the verge of complete collapse at certain points, while the offense didn’t blow you up with numbers, but did everything it needed to do against a pretty good Aggie front. What did our contributors think of the win? See below —

Gus Malzhan outcoached Jimbo Fisher. That’s the biggest thing that jumps out to me. One coach came in with a gameplan to hide the gigantic warts on his offense & find a ways to generate big plays & put points on the board. The other decided to spend 3 quarters demanding his personnel bend its will to his devices. That’s the story of the game in my eyes. Defense was outstanding until Aggie went on an insane streak of completing back shoulder passes. It concerns me for LSU & Bama but those are worries for other days. They absolutely stuffed Aggies’ rushing attack. Offensively, Bo still ain’t there but he plays his best in the biggest moments. You can’t coach that, You either rise to the occasion or you don’t. Both Bo & Boobee appear to have that gifts. That’s AU’s team this season. An inconsistent but explosive offense capable of delivering when it matters most protected by an elite defense. You can win a lot of games with that combo.

-AU Nerd

Who cares about stats? We lined up and kicked A&M’s ass in College Station.

-James Jones

Auburn just went on the road and beat a Top 20 team. The game plan out of the gate was outstanding and good things happen when Anthony Schwartz gets to use his speed. In addition, you saw a lot more Shaun Shivers, Harold Joiner and others early and that allowed Boobee to be fresh going into the 4th Quarter where he took control on the last scoring drive. Bo Nix managed the game and other than a few overthrows, he had a really solid game. Didn’t do too much but enough and that’s good for a guy making his 1st SEC and ROAD start. Defensively, Derrick Brown was a beast!!! My biggest concern coming out of this game is his health after being helped off the field after one of A&M’s touchdowns late. KJ Britt, Christian Tutt and Javaris Davis also made several great plays in the open field as well! Next week is a night game and I expect Jordan-Hare to be ROCKING!!! War Eagle!

P.S. The Gus haters gotta go find something different to do in life.

-Will McLaughlin

Texas A&M paid Jimbo around 830k to lose to Auburn. That’s a lot of money to only have 13 yards rushing and 3 points at half. Auburn has the best defensive line in America, that much remains clear. Our little baby QB is growing up and is still inconsistent, but he’s gonna be a star. You don’t have to be the best team in the world each night, you just have to be better than the team you’re playing. Auburn has done that 4 times.

-Son of Crow

Auburn’s first real win of the season. It wasn’t always pretty, but Auburn made plays when it counted. It was refreshing to see a real running back rotation, as well. This is a game A&M probably thought they should have won, yet we are the ones celebrating. It was Auburn that had the explosive plays, Auburn who forced turnovers and key stops, Auburn that ran that ball successfully. It was Texas A&M that missed field goals, Texas A&M that couldn’t move the ball when it counted, Texas A&M that got outcoached. War eagle. On to vic’try.

-Josh Dub

This was a game a lot of Auburn fans circled as a “MUST WIN” for Auburn in the offseason. Win this, and you’re set up nicely to compete in the West. Lose it, and you’re hoping for 4th place. Well, the Tigers brought home the win today, and they were the better team from the word go. Not everything was pretty: the deep passing game needs work, the ground game has to establish itself earlier, and the 3rd down defense struggled at times. But honestly, I’m nitpicking. This Auburn team is IMPRESSIVE. The defense could be the best in the country (the line certainly is), and the offensive staff did a really good job of setting the offense up for success. I could rant for a couple of hundred words on this team right now, but I’m going just highlight a few big performances - Tyrone Truesdell, Derrick Brown, and the offensive line as a whole. War Damn 4-0 y’all.

-Ryan Sterritt

Man what a difference a true run threat at Quarterback means for the ground game! Overall this game was dictated up front and Auburn managed to control the line of scrimmage defensively and show more grit on the offensive side than I honestly thought they had in them. There will be tougher bridges to cross in this schedule, but winning against this team, at this point in the year where we clearly are showing we have the ability to get so much better, is absolutely huge. To see an offense only throw for 106 yards on the road and lead the whole way, and to put the game away with a TD and then milk the clock, were just perfect. Super proud of this football team for not just winning, but finding ways to get better through September, which is something we missed last season. If this team can enter Baton Rouge undefeated, look out.

-Josh Black

Consider me a lover of history, and it’s hard for me not to see this as a parallel to the true turning point of the 2013 season — the trip to College Station. Auburn took a new quarterback to a tough environment against a ranked team, and flat out beat them. Make no mistake, the stats don’t show how dismantled A&M was most of yesterday. Jimbo was thoroughly outcoached, and the Gus haters need to find something else to grasp after he ran circles around A&M’s $75M man.

The defense was out of control. Watching Derrick Brown’s blatant disregard for human well-being made me feel things, and we saw Marlon Davidson and Tyrone Truesdell make huge plays as well. Is Truesdell blossoming into the kind of guy that’ll hear his name in the NFL Draft? Yesterday would suggest so.

We haven’t lost any sort of noticeable step without Deshaun Davis. K.J. Britt is a man, and was just biding his time until he could start. He’s going to mess around and find himself on the All-SEC team at the end of the season.

Would you think that our offensive line would open up the kind of holes that they did after watching the Tulane game? I wasn’t positive. Last year we ran for 19 yards on A&M. Yesterday we far outpaced that. They’re starting to mesh and it couldn’t happen at a better time.

Gus found what works for Bo Nix and you could see him grow before your eyes. The short passing helped get him into a groove, and allowing him to run a little more took away any nerves of his first road start. His legs clinched the game in the end with the final touchdown drive and the last first down.

The running back rotation (apparently Cadillac’s idea) kept Boobee fresh, and FINALLY we’re hitting defenses with a bunch of different running styles.

Special teams was great. A&M had a threat returning punts, and he did nothing, while Christian Tutt and Iggy were both really close to taking kicks back for scores.

That’s two games away from Jordan-Hare against ranked opponents. 2-0. We’ve got Florida and LSU on the road (and Arkansas, but, well... yeah) and I’m fairly optimistic about Gainesville. Take care of business against the Mississippi States, Ole Misses, and Arkansasses, and Auburn will absolutely be a factor in the battle for the SEC West. It’s on.

-Jack Condon