No. 24 Auburn beats No. 7 A&M 45-41

A shoulder injury couldn’t stop Johnny Football against Auburn
on Saturday.

But in the end, a defensive stand by Auburn coupled with Texas
A&M’s leaky D was too much for the seventh-ranked Aggies to
overcome.

Nick Marshall accounted for four scores and No. 24 Auburn
battered Johnny Manziel in the 45-41 victory.

Tre Mason’s 5-yard score with less than 2 minutes to play was
first placed at the 1, but it was reviewed and ruled a
touchdown.

A&M (5-2, 2-2 SEC) had a last chance, but Manziel, the
Heisman Trophy winner, was sacked by Dee Ford on fourth down to
secure the win.

”We didn’t make enough plays at the end of the day,” Texas
A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. ”We had our opportunities –
couldn’t make a play.”

Manziel threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a
fifth score, but was intercepted twice. He missed a series in the
fourth quarter with an injury to his right shoulder. He returned
but was constantly moving his right arm. Sumlin didn’t provide any
details on the injury after the game, but said Manziel told him he
was ”ready to go.”

”To see him be a leader like that and we know he was playing
through pain … it just motivates us to play harder as a team,”
Texas A&M receiver Malcome Kennedy said.

Marshall threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 100
yards and two more scores for Auburn (6-1, 3-1), which lost 63-21
to the Aggies last season.

Texas A&M’s Mike Evans had a school-record 287 yards
receiving with four touchdowns to become the first player in school
history to have two, 200-yard receiving games in a career. He
scored on receptions of 26, 64, 42 and 33 yards.

Manziel wasn’t made available to the media after the game, and
the school said Evans refused to do interviews.

Auburn entered the game leading the SEC with 287 yards rushing a
game and piled up 379 yards rushing against the Aggies. Mason led
the way with 178 yards and Corey Grant added 45.

Texas A&M’s inexperienced defense, which entered the game
ranked in the bottom 25 in the country in yards allowed, continued
to be a problem Saturday.

”In my career when you score 41 points you should win – end of
story,” defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said.

Snyder was disappointed that his defense couldn’t step up and
get a stop late in the game.

”We had a chance to win the game at the end and they took the
game and clock from our offense,” Snyder said. ”The put on their
big-boy pads and they knocked us off the football.”

Manziel connected with Evans for his fourth TD on a 33-yard pass
– that Auburn was called for pass interference on – giving A&M
a 31-24 lead late in the third quarter.

Manziel was injured when he was tackled on an 8-yard run early
in the fourth quarter.

He got up after the tackle and then went to the ground before he
reached the A&M sideline. A&M officials looked at him for a
couple of minutes on the turf before he got up and walked off on
his own power.

He was replaced by Matt Joeckel, who threw an incomplete pass on
third down and A&M settled for a 20-yard field goal to push the
lead to 34-24.

Marshall cut A&M’s lead to 3 when he ran 13 yards for a
touchdown with about 12 minutes left.

Joeckel remained in for A&M’s next possession and the Aggies
had to punt.

Cameron Artis-Payne put Auburn ahead 38-34 with a 2-yard run
with about 9 minutes remaining. Tre Mason slashed through the line
and ran 53 yards to set up the score.

Manziel returned and orchestrated a 75-yard drive capped by his
1-yard touchdown run to give A&M a 41-38 lead with about 5
minutes left.

Marshall found Sammie Coates on a screen pass and he coasted
into the end zone untouched for a 43-yard touchdown to tie it at
24-24 in the third quarter.

Evans took a short pass from Manziel and darted through traffic
for a 26-yard touchdown that gave A&M a 7-0 lead in the first
quarter.

The Tigers answered when Marshall ran 14 yards for a touchdown
on Auburn’s first drive.

Auburn took a 10-7 lead on a 27-yard field goal in the first
quarter after Manziel’s first interception.

Texas A&M’s next drive was a quick one. Evans grabbed an
11-yard pass before taking a short throw, getting free on a block
by Malcome Kennedy and dashing 64 yards down the sideline for a
touchdown that put A&M back on top 14-10.

The Tigers coughed the ball up on their next possession when
Howard Matthews forced a fumble by Marshall which was recovered by
Steven Jenkins.

But the Aggies weren’t able to take advantage of that miscue,
with Manziel throwing another interception six plays later. He
evaded three defenders before launching the pass into double
coverage which was intercepted just in front of the goal line by
Ryan White.

Marshall escaped the rush and found Quan Bray in the end zone
for the 13-yard touchdown that gave Auburn a 17-14 lead early in
the second quarter.

A&M tied it with a 37-yard field goal by Josh Lambo.

The Aggies regained the lead just before halftime when Evans
scored again. This time he pulled in a short pass, juked a defender
and then stiff-armed another before diving into the pylon for a
42-yard touchdown to make it 24-17.