After Auburn's BCS Championship in 2010, envisioning a win at Texas A&M wasn't so hard. After Auburn's disastrous 2012, it was.
Coach Gus Malzahn was the offensive coordinator for that 2010 title team and in his first year as Auburn's head coach has the Tigers back on the national scene with a 45-41 upset win at Texas A&M.
And because of it, the Heisman hopes of Johnny Manziel are likely dashed.
Manziel, who was hurt early in the fourth quarter after he was tackled and landed on his right throwing shoulder and arm, had his chance to bring Texas A&M on an epic comeback after the Tigers took the lead with 1:19 left after Tre Mason crawled into the end zone. Did Auburn score too early? Texas A&M had all three timeouts. That was plenty of time for Manziel to move his team down the field, right?
It was. With the pain evident on his face, Manziel found Mike Evans on two completions sandwiched around a scramble and got the Aggies to the 18 in an instant. But it stopped there, after a sack on second down, Auburn kept bringing pressure, and on fourth down, sacked Manziel as he rolled out to the right and stopped.
Throughout the game, and despite the Manziel to Evans connection that totaled 287 of Manziel's 454 passing yards, Auburn hung with Texas A&M and when the Aggies went up 10 in the fourth quarter immediately scored two touchdowns to take a 38-34 lead.
And because of it, Auburn is suddenly a player in the SEC West. Pegged by many to be one of the West's bottom dwellers, the Tigers are now 3-1. A visit to Tennessee -- who knocked off South Carolina Saturday -- still remains, but the shorthanded Georgia Bulldogs come to Auburn. And so does Alabama. Both of those teams winning out isn't an unrealistic possibility before Thanksgiving weekend. While this is Malzahn's signature moment as Auburn coach, there's only four weeks until there's an opportunity for it to be overwritten.
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