It was a sad night in Kyle Field last night. No. 24 Auburn, who didn’t win a conference game last season, came into College Station and won. While it was a good game, there were some huge mistakes that cost the Aggies the win.
Johnny Manziel is a great quarterback, no doubt about that. I feel as if during this season though he has gotten sloppy. He threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns, but had two interceptions. That’s ridiculous and unacceptable.
After his shoulder injury early in the fourth, the Aggie nation had to rely on backup quarterbacks who couldn’t produce points. Auburn then secured the lead and Manziel was forced back on the field.
Manziel, obviously still in some pain, completed 7 of 12 passes in a 75-yard touchdown drive that gave TAMU a three point advantage over the Tigers.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn then hit the Aggies where it hurt in the final moments of the game. They hit them hard with the run game and secured the 45-41 lead with 1:19 remaining.
At this moment many thought, “Johnny Football can do this”, but Texas A&M couldn’t handle Auburn’s defense. Once Manziel had the ball in Auburn territory, the Tigers defense saw the win in sight and knew they needed it.
After Manziel’s nice 19-yard pass to Mike Evans, the Auburn defense forced an incompletion out of Manziel and sacked him for a loss of eight yards. There were only 18 seconds left, Texas A&M was at 4th and 13 at the Auburn 21.
The nation finally saw defeat wash over the Heisman Trophy winner’s face as Dee Ford sacked Manziel for a huge loss.
Game. Set. Match.
While this is a huge bummer, there are positives. Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans became the first player in school history to have two, 200-yard receiving games in a career.
Another positive, Manziel isn’t seriously injured. Maybe this loss will be a reality check for him, and maybe he’ll stop throwing interceptions every game.
All in all, this game was a nail biter until the end. Manziel made mistakes and his injury didn’t help matters. Texas A&M suffered because they had to put inexperienced quarterbacks out there in a close game, no pressure.
This is a hard loss, but the Aggies now know a few things:
1) Manziel needs to be protected. Period.
2) Watch the outside, seriously guys.
3) Manziel isn’t indestructible and he can be taken out.
Next Saturday Vanderbilt makes their trip to College Station to take on Manziel and the Aggies. Will Texas A&M win? This season in the SEC, who knows.