AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn went into its SEC opener looking to dispel any concerns remaining from the Week 1 loss to Clemson. Quite the opposite transpired.
Texas A&M torched the Tigers in the second half — particularly in the third quarter — and Auburn (1-2, 0-1 SEC) fell 29-16. The Tigers find themselves in a do-or-die situation next week against LSU, while the Aggies (3-0, 1-0 SEC) move on as a potential SEC West threat to Alabama’s throne.
After beating Auburn, Texas A&M players and coaches met with the media to discuss the outcome. Here’s what they said:
Quarterback Trevor Knight on starting SEC play with a win: “It was a question mark game for our team since we came into the season not being picked very high. There were all kinds of questions about who we were going to be and what our identity would be. We came on the road to a team that I think has one of the better defenses in the country. We played very well, and it was a big win for us.”
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on adjusting to Auburn’s run game: “We made some adjustments. Football is one of those games where you have to figure out what people are trying to do to you, and certain times during a series, it’s hard to get that communicated. Trying to tell 11 guys, ‘Here’s what they’re doing, here’s how they’re blocking, here’s how we need to do it.’ I think our defensive staff did great, in particular coming out of halftime.”
Aggies defensive end Myles Garrett on adjusting to Auburn’s early success: “We were just more solid all-around. We started collapsing inside and shutting off the gaps. We stayed collected and played hard.”
Sumlin on the Aggies’ fourth-down success and stopping Auburn twice on fourth down: “We were in what I call ‘no man’s land.’ Daniel (LaCamera) is good at the 33-yard line, which is about a 50-yard field goal. Right there, we were at around a 55-yard field goal, which is a bit out of his range. If you punt, there’s the risk of it getting in the end zone and then you’re back at the 20-yard line. Right there, it made sense to go with it. We had a really good option with Christian Kirk. He has a really good matchup just about any time. That’s just about the best play you could have right there, and defensively to get that fourth down stop to really seal the game off, was really great for our defense. With the exception to the second-to-last series where they scored, I thought our defense played pretty good, consistent all night. What they did, which a lot of people haven’t been able to do, is the ball didn’t get over our heads. Auburn does a great job of getting your eyes everywhere. I thought our back-end guys did a great job of controlling the explosive plays.”