No. 9 Auburn makes statement by starting SEC play with win at No. 15 Texas A&M

Josh Vitale, Montgomery Advertiser
Published 7:47 p.m. ET Sept. 21, 2019 | Updated 8:40 p.m. ET Sept. 21, 2019CLOSE
SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg provides his opinion of the top three programs in the history of college football.
USA TODAYCOLLEGE STATION, Texas — Last week, the day after Auburn’s easy victory over Kent State, Tigers coach Gus Malzahn told his team that win didn’t matter. None of its first three wins really mattered.“They’re not in our conference,” senior safety Daniel Thomas said during the week, recalling that conversation. “This is really going to determine who’s going to be in Atlanta at the end of the year, so Texas A&M is the first start for us, for real, for real.”If that is the case, then No. 9 Auburn made a statement in the true start to its season, even if the eight-point final margin of victory might not show it. The come-from-behind win in a season-opening win against a ranked Oregon team was good, but a 28-20 victory over No. 15 Texas A&M on the road in front of more than 101,000 fans at Kyle Field is better.The win moves the Tigers to 4-0 all-time at Kyle Field, 4-0 on the 2019 season and 1-0 in SEC play. It marks their first true road win over a Top 25 team since 2015.And with their next three games coming at home against Mississippi State, on the road against a Florida team playing without injured quarterback Feliepe Franks, and at Arkansas, that gives them a real chance to thrust themselves into the SEC West race along with LSU and Alabama, even if Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa have made it look prettier than Bo Nix has.WINNERS AND LOSERS: Highs and lows from Week 4 in college footballDIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: Michigan is pretender, while Wisconsin is contenderRARE LOSS: Pittsburgh ends Central Florida’s 27-game regular season win streak And of course it wasn’t going to look that clean or that dominant for Auburn. Those are both experienced quarterbacks in their second seasons as every week starters. Nix is a true freshman. Saturday was his fourth career game and first in front of a truly hostile crowd — the Oregon game was at a neutral site, but there was more orange in the stands at AT&T Stadium than there was green.Nix led four touchdown drives, one of which was scored on his 9-yard pass to Seth Williams early in the second half. Anthony Schwartz showed what he’s capable of with a 57-yard touchdown run. Joey Gatewood threw a touchdown pass. JaTarvious Whitlow all but iced the game with an 8-yard score.The defense gave up two fourth-quarter scores, but it did enough beforehand that it ultimately proved too late.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide

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