This game had pretty much everything except any kind of a defensive performance. The 24th ranked Auburn Tigers handed seventh ranked Texas A&M their second loss of the season after a Tre Mason five yard touchdown gave the Tigers a 45-41 lead with just over a minute left to play. A lead that A&M and Johnny Manziel could do nothing about.
So what were the good, the bad and the ugly parts of this game that caught my eye?
The Good: Mike Evans
When I say good I mean Mike Evans is damn good. After a 182 yard, three touchdown first half, including a 64 yard scoring run from a screen pass, the A&M wide receiver finished the game with 287 yards and caught four touchdowns. Its easy when you have his combination of pace and size to bully defenses in any way he sees fit. It is safe to say that without Evans, Manziel’s season statistics would be incredibly average. So far this season Evans has nine touchdowns this year and has already topped the 1000 yard mark.
The Bad: Both defenses.
In a game that ends with both teams scoring over 40 points you know the person with the most questions to answer will be the defensive coordinator from each coaching staff. Both teams also had over 600 yards in total offense. Auburn gained 615 total yards, with 379 of those yards coming from running plays, including a 178 yard performance from Tre Mason and 100 yards and two touchdown runs from quarterback Nick Marshall.
A&M had 602 total yards, 502 of those were courtesy of Johnny Manziel. The A&M quarterback threw four touchdown passes and ran in another late in the game. Despite going down with a shoulder injury in a heart-stopping, stadium-silencing moment where he briefly left the field to receive treatment, after being driven shoulder first into the ground on a run play, Manziel showed his toughness and returned to the game minutes later.
The Ugly: Claibourne’s fall.
This is something that needs to stop in football, being English I’m far too used to players going down and time-wasting in soccer games. A&M linebacker Darian Claibourne clearly had a back injury on the play and was trying his best to get himself off the field, but a signal from the bench came out and he calmly fell to the floor to stop the clock with an injury timeout being called. The New York Giants got into trouble for this last season and it is something that just doesn’t deserve to be part of a game that is meant to have an image of toughness and big tackles.