No. 14 Texas A&M knocks off No. 13 Auburn 20-3

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No. 14 Texas A&M extended its winning streak to four in a dominating defensive display against No. 13 Auburn on Saturday.

The Aggies won 20-3 in a game that didn’t feature any offensive touchdowns. Neither offense was able to do much at all and the only touchdown of the game came when Michael Clemons returned a Bo Nix fumble 24 yards for a score.

That fumble happened when Nix simply dropped the football while moving to his left and a play after he dropped a lateral back to him during a flea flicker and had to throw the ball away to avoid a sack.

Nix’s passing line was ugly on Saturday. He’d been playing well as Auburn had beaten Arkansas and Ole Miss after losing to Georgia. On Saturday, he was just 20-of-41 for 153 yards and a late interception as Auburn struggled to complete a pass anywhere down the field.

Much like he did in the Aggies’ win over No. 2 Alabama, A&M QB Zach Calzada came back into the game after suffering what appeared to be a painful injury. Saturday, Calzada suffered a left shoulder injury on a run when he collided with an Auburn defender. After he was in some serious discomfort as members of A&M’s training staff worked on his shoulder, he returned to the game with a brace on the shoulder and played the rest of the way.

A&M was powered by running backs Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller, though the Aggies lost a chance to really put Auburn away early in the fourth quarter. Achane broke a 68-yard run through the Auburn defense but fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Tigers near the goal line.

How this impacts the SEC West race

Auburn entered the game knowing that it could win the SEC West by winning out. With a non-conference loss to Penn State and an SEC loss to Georgia, Auburn could finish the season 7-1 in the SEC and have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Alabama to win the division.

The division title is still within reach. It still requires a win over Alabama. And it also now requires some help. A&M (7-2, 4-2 SEC) has the tiebreaker over both Auburn (6-3, 3-2) and Alabama (7-1, 4-1) and would win a three-way tie atop the conference.

If Alabama wins the West, A&M now has the best chance to finish second in the division. The Aggies play at Ole Miss next week and a win there would give A&M an edge for second over both the Rebels (7-2, 3-2) and Tigers.

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