Attack the Aggies! (Auburn vs. Texas A&M, Open Thread.)

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Attack the Aggies! (Auburn vs. Texas A&M, Open Thread.)

Tigers can secure a good bowl game today.
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! This morning the Auburn Tigers return to the field to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. Tigers are reeling after an Iron Bowl beatdown in Tuscaloosa last weekend, and need to get back on the winning track. Winning this week and next week at Mississippi State would allow Auburn to finish at 7-3, no worse than 5th in the SEC. That would likely translate into a bid to at least the Outback Bowl, and possibly even the VBRO Citrus. Losing this game will dump Auburn into the middle tier of bowl games, and Auburn could be playing anywhere from Houston to Shreveport or worse.

     This game will kick off at 11:00 AM, Central Standard Time. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. For the few attending this game, it should be a good day for football, but a cool start, with mostly clear skies and the temperature just above 50 degreesF. There is little chance of rain.

     As far as we know, Auburn has come through another week with no virus issues, and we hope for no late morning surprises. The injuries continue to mount for the Tigers, though. Auburn will likely miss having starter Brodarius Hamm at right tackle on the field due to continuing issues. Auburn had to go this season with a very young and inexperienced offensive line, and 3 of the new starters will likely miss this game as well. It comes at a really bad time, too. Texas A&M is pretty vicious on the defensive line.

     With line issues in mind, Alabama really showed the way to slowing Auburn’s offense down last weekend. The thing to do is crowd Auburn’s line and receivers, and make things really tough on runners and the quarterback. Alabama put Auburn in a place where some down-the-field throws had to be made. Most of the time, Auburn didn’t even attempt it, and when they did poor accuracy and dropped balls doomed things. I would be shocked if Texas A&M doesn’t try something similar. As usual, I’ll continue to stew if Auburn keeps trying to run up the middle with no tight ends or backs in to block. A pattern has emerged the past 5 years where Auburn is very banged up in the backfield by December, with numerous backs out with injuries. And of course the reason is continual abuse of them by running the ball with only 5 blockers as a mainstay on offense. And here we are in 2020, with only 5th string running back Mark Anthony Richards fully healthy.

     On offense, Alabama seriously exposed the middle of Auburn’s secondary. With a young defensive line, Auburn hasn’t generated a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and extra attention has to be brought into the box to keep teams from running the ball all over the Tigers. This allowed Alabama to put their best receivers in the slot, and isolate them on Auburn nickels and safeties. It did not go well for the Tigers there, and Alabama’s Mac Jones added some more stats for his Heisman campaign. Fortunately for Auburn this week, Texas A&M has been hemmoraging receivers all season, and shouldn’t be nearly as deadly there. Auburn must focus on taking away star running back CJ Spiller, and containing quarterback Kellen Mond.

     As always, feel free to join in and enjoy this thread. I’ll have sporadic commentary on various scores around the conference, and I’ll have my usual play by play. I am looking forward to another great day of college football! War Eagle, and let’s take out Texas A&M!

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