The 3-6 Auburn Tigers face the 3-6 Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday in a must-win game for either team if they want to go bowling this year.
By Steve Wright
Here is a look at the three keys to an Auburn victory over Texas A&M:
Stop Devon Achane
The Tigers are not a good run-stopping team, and they are terrible 1-5 when letting teams run for 130 yards or more. Devon Achane went for 122 yards last week against Florida after putting up 138 on Ole Miss. The pass blocking has been a mess, but the offensive line is opening up holes that Achane has been able to exploit. Achane can go for 130 on his own, so Auburn will have to find a way to slow down the veteran running back to have a chance here.
Never Stop Running
The Aggies allowed 215 yards per game on the ground, the worst mark in the SEC. Auburn is going to run the ball all game long. This contest could easily be decided by which of the two teams controls the clock and the tempo. Auburn rushed the ball 46 times for 256 yards last Saturday as they went down in overtime to Mississippi State in Cadillac Williams’ first game in charge. Williams wants to run the ball, and in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, he has a pair of backs capable of high workloads. Robby Ashford is not passing the ball well, so expect Auburn to hit 35+ carries again.
Momentum Will be Huge
The Tigers were so very close to winning in Williams’ coaching debut. That looked like a long prospect at the half, with Auburn trailing 24-6. Whatever adjustments were made in the locker room worked. The Aggies are a squad falling way below expectations this season, and – if Auburn can use that moment from a week ago to get ahead early, they might not be up for the fight.
Saturday‘s game starts at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). You can view this SEC football game on the SEC Network.