Texas A&M put together a disappointing performance in its 26-10 upset loss to Auburn on Saturday at Kyle Field.
These are the grades the Aggies deserve based on their performance against the Rebels.
Aggies quarterback Kyler Murray never found his groove in his second career start. The true freshman threw three interceptions, including one in the end zone and another near the Auburn goal line.
To make matters worse, Murray left the game in the third quarter after an apparent injury. Jake Hubenak replaced Murray at quarterback and completed 5-of-12 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.
The silver lining from the underwhelming Aggies offense was that running back Tra Carson ran for more than 100 yards for the second game in a row. The senior running back rushed for 109 yards on 21 carries.
It’s usually a bad sign for the defense when a safety ends up being the team’s leading tackler. Such was the case for Texas A&M, as Armani Watts led the Aggies with 13 tackles.
Auburn exploited the thin depth of the Aggies’ front seven, as the Tigers gained 311 yards on the ground. Texas A&M struggled to slow down Auburn running back Jovon Robinson, who rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.
Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson didn’t seem challenged by the Aggies defense, and he was effective moving the Tigers through the air. The junior quarterback completed 13-of-17 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. This was the same quarterback who was benched by coach Gus Malzahn in favor of redshirt freshman Sean White after a 45-21 loss to LSU in Week 3.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B+
Wide receiver Speedy Noil returned the opening kickoff for 39 yards to give Texas A&M solid starting field position, and kicker Taylor Bertolet went on to convert a 50-yard field goal to give the Aggies a 3-0 lead. Those wound up being the highlights of Texas A&M’s special teams. It was Bertolet’s only field goal attempt, and Aggies returners called for fair catches on all three punts by Auburn’s Kevin Phillips.
Sumlin had no choice but to bring in a replacement for Murray after seeing his starting quarterback follow the Aggies trainers into the locker room during the third quarter. But it was a rather interesting decision to bring Hubenak in as the backup, considering that Kyle Allen is more experienced and also opened this season as the starter.
On the other side of the ball, Texas A&M has no excuse for allowing Auburn to gain 443 yards of offense. Defensive adjustments in the second half weren’t very effective for the Aggies, as they allowed Auburn to score 12 points off four field goals from kicker Daniel Carlson.
Texas A&M’s dreadful performance against Auburn has left Aggies fans with more questions than answers. Will we see another quarterback controversy with another open competition for the starting job? Will we see some position changes on defense? It will be very interesting to see the changes that Sumlin will make, if any, in the coming days.