What a night it was at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Auburn Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday night by defeating Texas A&M, 13-10 in front of a sold-out crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The win marked the first victory since an overtime win over Missouri back on Sept. 25, and it was the first under interim head coach Cadillac Williams.
The Tigers played with even higher intensity on Saturday than they did in last Saturday’s overtime loss to Mississippi State. That was due in part to the electric atmosphere that was brought to life by Auburn fans, and due to Coach Williams bringing a new mindset with him to his new role.
“I told my staff when I took this job that we have failed these kids, and I’m part of it,” Williams said following Auburn’s win over Texas A&M. “It’s our job to elevate them, to inspire them, to empower them, and to get them going.”
There is always room for improvement, but there was also plenty to be excited about Saturday. Here are the winners and losers from Auburn’s win over Texas A&M.
Winner: Cadillac Williams
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He got it done.
Auburn legend-turned-interim head coach Cadillac Williams earned his first win in his new role by leading his team to victory over Texas A&M on Saturday. After last week’s last-play loss to Mississippi State, Auburn fans pledged to buy every available ticket, and make Jordan-Hare Stadium the raccous atmosphere that it is known for.
In return, Williams put a great product on the field.
Well done, Cadillac. You have earned every right to “go crazy.”
Loser: Passing offense
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For the second week in a row, Auburn’s offense put up respectable numbers, but it was in most part due to the rushing attack.
Quarterback Robby Ashford threw under 100 yards, and posted a completion percentage below 50% for the second week in a row. He completed 6-of-13 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Ashford will need to find a way to improve in getting the football to his receivers in order to help Auburn boost its offensive numbers, and to put more points on the board.
Winner: Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter
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The rushing game, as expected under Cadillac Williams, has improved.
Running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter each rushed for 121 yards in Saturday’s game. That marks the first time all season that the duo has rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. For Hunter, it was his first game of the 2022 campaign that he eclipsed the century mark.
Neither back was able to find the end zone, but seeing both players have success rushing the football is definitely a win.
Winner: Auburn's defense
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There were very few negatives in Auburn’s defense on Saturday night.
Texas A&M was only able to muster 215 yards of total offense and was limited to just 94 yards on the ground. Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman was also sacked three times for a loss of 26 yards, and the Tigers only allowed Texas A&M to reach the red zone once all game.
Auburn’s [autotag]Owen Pappoe[/autotag] led the charge by making six stops, two were behind the line of scrimmage.
Loser: Bryan Harsin
AP Photo/Butch Dill
Wait, why is he being brought into this? He did not coach Auburn to victory on Saturday night.
That’s just it. He didn’t.
Sure, both Auburn and Texas A&M entered the game with 3-6 records, but the buzz that was felt around campus beginning on Friday rivaled that of a conference weekend with the western division title on the line. It rivaled that of a top ten battle between Auburn and Georgia, or an even recent Iron Bowls.
Fans lined up five, even six rows deep for Tiger Walk two hours prior to kickoff. The student section lost its minds when the players entered the field for the first time. Fans stayed around and cheered on their team until the final whistle, and even stayed after to celebrate before making the trip up the Magnolia Avenue hill to Toomer’s Corner.
Imagine being told three weeks ago that the Texas A&M game would feature that atmosphere. You could not do it, even in your wildest dream.
Auburn is different now, and it is easy to see why.