COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas A&M falls at home to Auburn to open SEC play

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COLLEGE STATION – Auburn held Texas A&M to just 56 rushing yards and held off a 17-point fourth-quarter rally to beat the Aggies 28-20 on Saturday.

Pundits picked the Aggies by 3.5 early – essentially an even matchup outside the home field advantage at Kyle Field. However, it was Auburn that built momentum early and controlled the tempo, sacking Kellen Mond three times and adding seven hurries to a relentless defensive pressure.

The Aggies were able to bring the game close on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Mond to Ainias Smith with 2:12 left to play. But the onside kick attempt failed and the Tigers held on by keeping the ball on the ground and riding running back JaTarvious Whitlow, who tallied most of his 67 yards in the second half.

A&M receiver Jhamon Ausbon caught his 100th pass in the first half of the game, and finished with a game-high eight catches for 111 yards.

Both teams are headed into the teeth of a difficult SEC West schedule. For Auburn (4-0), SEC West and playoff hopes remain alive. For Texas A&M (2-2), things got a lot tougher with Saturday’s loss, and the Aggies will most likely need to win out and catch some breaks along the way to earn a trip to Atlanta for the conference championship in December.

Auburn plays host to Mississippi State next week. The Aggies play Arkansas in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

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