If you got to witness the special event in Jordan-Hare Stadium tonight, consider yourself lucky.
LET'S GO PLAY BALL!!!!! pic.twitter.com/2nkQpC9CLB— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) November 13, 2022
Auburn beat Texas A&M 13-10 to give Cadillac Williams his first win as head coach at Auburn. The Tiger defense was scintillating, completely shutting down the Aggies on the night until a desperation drive, and allowing -2 yards in the third quarter.
Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter both eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground, and the Tiger run defense allowed just 94 yards and 211 total yards. Auburn breaks a five-game losing streak and saddles the Aggies with their first six-game losing streak since 1972 in the victory.
Inside an absolutely unhinged stadium, Auburn’s defense forced an opening three-and-out, but a running into the punter penalty gave Texas A&M new life. The Tigers forced another three-and-out, and took over at their own 10-yard line for the opening drive on offense. The Tigers moved into Aggie territory using some powerful runs, but bogged down at the A&M 35.
After the Auburn defense held strong again, the Tigers got the ball back starting at their own 38-yard line. On a third-and-2, Tank Bigsby raced around right end for 39 yards, and then Robby Ashford hit Ja’Varrius Johnson on a 16-yard touchdown pass on the next play to help Auburn draw first blood. At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers held a 7-0 lead with Tank amassing 66 yards on the ground, and Auburn with a yardage advantage of 122-38.
After the score, A&M had the ball at the start of the second quarter, and Connor Weigman threw what appeared to be an interception to D.J. James on third down, but it was overruled on review. Either way, the Tigers regained possession at their own 5-yard line and Jarquez Hunter ripped off 16 yards on the first play to get the Tigers out of their own endzone. He followed that up with an 18-yard burst, and then a 14-yard scamper to put the Tigers into A&M territory. They weren’t able to score, but they flipped the field and stuck the Aggies at their own 8-yard line with 10:23 to play in the half.
A&M converted a third-and-18 deep in its own territory with a 25-yard completion from Weigman to Jalen Preston, and got out near midfield. Auburn’s defense stiffened and forced another punt, getting the ball deep in its own end once again. The offense didn’t make anything happen but a silly late hit on Texas A&M on a third down stop gave Auburn new life. Hunter hit another big run of 23 yards to enter A&M territory with 1:21 to play, and then Ashford found Bigsby on a screen for another 14 yards. Auburn couldn’t get any further than the A&M 39, and threw for the end zone as time expired in the half but it fell incomplete. Auburn led 7-0 at the break.
The Tigers got the ball out of the half, and Robby Ashford converted a third down with a scramble before a pass interference penalty pushed Auburn into A&M’s side of the field. A series of poor plays stuck Auburn with a fourth down, and they sent out Alex McPherson to try his first career field goal from 54 yards out. He pushed it to the right, and Auburn’s first drive of the second half went scoreless.
After a quick three-and-out, Auburn nearly hit paydirt on its second drive, but Robby Ashford rocketed a pass on third down that would’ve hit Jarquez Hunter in stride and allowed him to score untouched on a wheel route. Instead of going up 14-0, Auburn had to punt back to A&M with 8:34 left in the third quarter. Once again, the defense forced a three-and-out, and a short Aggie punt left Auburn just shy of midfield with seven minutes left in the quarter.
An end-around play to Jarquez Hunter got 25 yards to put Auburn into field goal range, but then Robby Ashford inexplicably tried to pitch the ball to Tank Bigsby on a simple handoff, and A&M recovered the fumbled ball. Still, the Aggies could do nothing on offense, and had their third consecutive three-and-out. Through three drives in the second half, A&M had zero yards gained.
The Tigers failed to move the ball but a giant punt by Oscar Chapman pinned the Aggies at their own 3-yard line. Another three-and-out for A&M and a poor punt put Auburn at the A&M 27-yard line. One good catch and run by Jarquez Hunter later, and Alex McPherson connected on a 34-yard field goal to increase the Auburn lead to 10-0 with 0:39 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with the fourth straight three-and-out by the Auburn defense as Connor Weigman fumbled the ball and fell on it before the Aggies had to punt again. A&M finished the third quarter with -2 yards, and that total went back to -15 yards after the first play of the final period. Unfortunately, Robby Ashford was picked off on a tipped pass just three plays later and the Aggies ended up with great field position at the Tiger 44. They drove 8 yards and Randy Bond banged through a 48-yard field goal to cut the Auburn lead to 10-3 with 10:48 left in the game.
The Tigers drove out toward midfield, and got a fortuitous spot on a third-down scramble by Ashford, but Jarquez Hunter fumbled on the next play and A&M recovered at their own 44-yard line with 8:38 remaining in the game and a 10-3 deficit. THEN, after review, the officials determined that Shedrick Jackson touched the ball while being out of bounds, thus ruling it a dead ball and no turnover. Then, Tank Bigsby appeared to fumble the ball, but Auburn hurried to the line and ran a play before a review could be conducted. All in all, the drive resulted in a punt and the Aggies started at their own 20 with 6:36 to play.
After one completion, Colby Wooden roared around the left side and stripped Weigman, Morris Joseph Jr. recovered it, and Auburn took over deep in A&M territory with a chance to ice the game.
Tank Bigsby rolled for a big run to put Auburn in easy field goal range at the Aggie 15, and then Jarquez Hunter got the Tigers to the A&M 7-yard line for a 3rd and 2 situation. Auburn couldn’t convert, but did get a huge 26-yard field goal from Alex McPherson to give the Tigers a 13-3 edge with 3:02 left in the game.
A&M drove down to score a late touchdown on a pass from Weigman to Jalen Preston, but Auburn recovered the onside kick to kneel out the clock and win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It’s the two-headed running back tandem of Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. They combined for 245 yards on 35 carries and got Auburn close to 300 yards on the ground.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It’s the play that set up the only touchdown of the night!
The Tigers will be at home for the final time this season when Western Kentucky comes to visit the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Auburn will kick with the Hilltoppers at 3 pm CST/4 pm EST.