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Dismal offense dooms Auburn to 20-3 loss at Texas A&M

In modern football, it is virtually impossible to lose a game by three scores if your defense does not allow a touchdown. Auburn made it look very easy in College Station today.

Any momentum that Auburn had built after beating back-to-back top 25-ranked, SEC western division opponents came to a grinding halt Saturday against Texas A&M.

Auburn’s offense was completely impotent this afternoon in College Station. Auburn could not find a way to score a single touchdown and has now scored just six total points in the last six quarters going back to the Ole Miss game.

Today was as bad of an offensive performance that Auburn has had in a decade. Running back Tank Bigsby was the only offensive skill player to make positive plays with any consistency.

Quarterback Bo Nix looked uncomfortable from the outset of the game and never found any kind of rhythm over the course of four quarters. Nix completed less the 50% of his passes, missed some open receivers and had two turnovers in the second half.

Tigers’ receivers lined up incorrectly, were called for penalties, failed to make any big plays, and outright dropped a handful of passes.

The Auburn offensive line allowed four sacks, was called for multiple penalties and was unable to generate any room to run the football.

This was a comprehensive failure for Auburn’s offensive coaches and players.

Certainly, the Aggies defense deserves credit for their play today. That group is very talented and has been effective every game they have played except for against Alabama.

However, Auburn made them look like the 1985 Chicago Bears or this year’s Georgia Bulldogs.

Every SEC team that has played A&M this season has managed to score at least 14 points — until today. The Aggies forced seven punts, one turnover on downs, two field goal attempts and two turnovers from the Auburn offense.

The fact that Auburn was even in the game at all by the end is a testament to the Tigers’ defense. Auburn did allow the Aggies to gain some yardage, but the visitors’ defense did not allow a touchdown all day.

The Tigers’ defense was not perfect, but they did more than enough to win the game. Auburn’s defenders repeatedly forced punts, made tackles for loss, defended passes and generated a turnover in the fourth quarter.

Defensive standouts like Colby Wooden, Zakoby McClain and Roger McCreary made big play after big play throughout the game and gave the Tigers a chance.

Defensive coordinator Derek Mason deserves credit for having his group prepared for this contest and for executing a game plan that should have resulted in a win.

This is probably the most disappointing performance of head coach Bryan Harsin’s young career as Auburn’s coach. It will be critical for Coach Harsin to lead a good week of practice and have the Tigers ready for an 11 a.m. kickoff against Mississippi State next Saturday.

Harsin’s motto has been “1-0” since he arrived on The Plains in December. This is supposed to emphasize focusing on one day at a time and improving across each of them. The upcoming week will be an opportunity to see if that mindset has set in for the Tigers.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers.

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