Hunter and Bigbsy lead Auburn past Texas A&M

about an hour ago
AP
AP

AUBURN, Alabama— Carnell Williams entered the post-game interview room barefoot and clutching a cue ball.

Jarquez Hunter and Tank Bigsby each ran for 121 yards and the Williams Auburn team held on to a 13-10 win over Texas A&M Saturday night in a battle of the teams finishing last in their division.

It was the Tigers’ second game under their interim coach, who admitted he was “scared as a puppy” on his debut. Game 2 ended in a win and a Gatorade bath for Williams that soaked him and his shoes on a chilly night.

“I let her know I was scared like I needed you all,” he said. “I’ve never done that.”

Now the former Auburn and NFL running back has a win under his belt.

Colby Wooden’s stripsack in the fourth quarter set up freshman Alex McPherson’s crucial field goal for the Tigers (4-6, 2-5 Southeastern Conference).

Auburn and the Aggies (3-7, 1-6) were bottom of the Western Division and both had lost five straight games. The offensive problems continued, especially for Texas A&M – until the last drive.

Freshman Conner Weigman and Stau Amari Daniels quickly got the Aggies across the field. Weigman completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Preston with 1:33 left and Daniels had a 27-yard run.

But Auburn bounced back from the onside kick and ran out the clock to end a losing streak that broke the camel’s back during coach Bryan Harsin’s tenure.

“Once coach (Williams) got the job, the building changed,” Bigsby said, saying he brought an energy that had been missing.

The 215 yards was the fewest Auburn had allowed for an SEC win since the 2011 Florida game. And Wooden delivered the greatest moment when Morris Joseph Jr. recovered the fumble.

“Great play from Colby,” said Williams. “I mean wow. Tempers flew. You could tell the guys started barking on the offensive. We kind of stalled this third quarter.

“They had some momentum there. Getting that strip fumble was a big deal.”

Before that final drive, Texas A&M had just 5 total yards in the second half. The Aggies were without leading rusher Devon Achane, who wore a boot on his left foot, and wide receiver Moose Muhammad. Coach Jimbo Fisher said Muhammad was out due to “internal issues”.

McPherson, making his first career start in place of the injured Anders Carlson, made a 26-yarder 3:02 down.

Quarterback Robby Ashford then led a celebration with the fans, and the players emptied a cooler of sports drinks onto Williams.

Weigman, a five-star recruit, made his second start in three games but failed to repeat his performance of 338 yards and four touchdowns against Mississippi. He was 14 of 36 passes for 121 yards and had 13 consecutive incompletions in the second half.

Weigman missed the Florida game with an illness.

“We didn’t get into the rhythm,” Fisher said. “Whether we dropped the ball, whether we got a sack, whether we had a penalty, whether we had a negative run…”

The loss officially ended Texas A&M’s hopes of making a bowl game.

“First time in my life,” Fisher said. “It’s disappointing. But we have to go back to work and fix it and get better.”

THE TAKE AWAY

Texas A&M: The offense stuttered worse than usual, losing a total of 16 yards on five drives starting in the third quarter. It was another blow for coach Jimbo Fisher, whose team started sixth.

Auburn: It was a cathartic moment for Auburn fans who endured Harsin’s 9-12 tenure and struggles in the league and other Power 5 games. Williams’ first game the show ran ended in an overtime loss at Mississippi State.

NEXT

Texas A&M hosts UMass on Saturday.

Auburn hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday.

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