The Auburn Tigers football team is seeking an upset win when they host No. 5 Texas A&M this Saturday at noon.
Texas A&M hopes to stay alive in the College Football Playoff (CFP) race, while Auburn aims to spoil the Aggies’ season. Texas A&M is coming off a victory over LSU. The Aggies hadn’t played in two weeks prior to the LSU game due to COVID-19 postponements.
Auburn is fresh off a throttling from Alabama in the Iron Bowl, ending a three-game win streak the Tigers had.
In the series, Auburn has won the past three matchups, but they are facing a strong Texas A&M team.
Bo Nix has struggled vs. ranked opponents. Auburn football needs that to change vs. Texas A&M https://t.co/5K5IQkta3i
— MontgomeryAdvertiser (@MGMAdvertiser) December 3, 2020
Keys to Victory
Auburn is the underdog in this matchup, but they have a very capable team that could signal trouble for the Aggies. There are a few key strengths that will help Auburn in this game.
- Quarterback Bo Nix must be accurate. Auburn cannot afford numerous turnovers against a strong defense like Texas A&M. Nix needs to emphasize protecting the ball and settle for smaller plays.
- Auburn has a talented group of receivers that need to help Nix. The key will be to improve their yards after the catch. Top threats like Seth Williams or Eli Stove can change the game with one big play.
- Kellen Mond’s impact must be minimized. Mond is an accurate quarterback who can extend plays with his legs if needed. Auburn’s pass rush will need to pressure him and the secondary has to try and force turnovers from the pressure.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher highlighted the difficulties that Auburn presents, praising them on both sides of the ball.
Texas A&M has put together an excellent season and is a safe favorite over Auburn, but don’t underestimate the playmakers Auburn has. Texas A&M can take advantage of some key strengths to ensure victory.
- The offense needs to be more productive than it was against LSU. Texas A&M posted the second-lowest point total of the season in the LSU game, not even managing a pass touchdown. Additionally, a 52-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Spiller padded the rushing stats in that game, which were otherwise average.
- The well-tuned Aggies defense will have excellent opportunities for turnovers with Nix going against them. If they can put good pressure on Nix like they did in a six-sack performance against Mississippi State, they could force a couple interceptions or fumbles.
Coach Fisher breaks down the victory over LSU, discussing the lack of offense and how the Aggies are preparing to face Auburn.
Playoff Path for Texas A&M
While Auburn’s CFP hopes are virtually diminished with three losses, they can still knock out the Aggies. The latest CFP poll has the Aggies ranked fifth, one spot out of the playoff.
Texas A&M’s best shot to make the CFP is banking on the conference championship games. They need Notre Dame to knock out Clemson, or Alabama to take down Florida. Then, the Aggies could possibly slide into the bottom playoff spot without appearing in the SEC championship.
With their only loss to Alabama and an impressive victory over Florida, Texas A&M is in a good position to secure a playoff spot if they can win out.