Auburn Tigers look to improve to 4-0 for first time since 2019 when they visit Texas A&M
First-year Auburn coach Hugh Freeze and the Tigers are looking for their first 4-0 start since the 2019 season
Auburn (3-0) at Texas A&M (2-1), Saturday, noon ET (ESPN)
Line: Texas A&M by 7 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Texas A&M leads 7-6.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
First-year coach Hugh Freeze and the Tigers are looking for their first 4-0 start since opening the 2019 season with five consecutive wins. Their fourth win that season was a 28-20 victory against the Aggies. Texas A&M looks to get off to a good start in conference play after winning just two SEC games last year to add to the criticism of highly-paid coach Jimbo Fisher.
Texas A&M QB Conner Weigman vs. Auburn’s pass defense. Weigman ranks 10th in the country with 303 yards passing per game. He threw for 337 yards and a touchdown in less than three quarters against Louisiana-Monroe for his third career 300-yard game. He will face an Auburn defense that ranks 12th nationally by allowing just 155 yards passing a game, but that is dealing with injuries. Freeze said starting cornerback Keionte Scott will miss “considerable time” after having surgery Monday to repair an unspecified injury. Fellow cornerback Nehemiah Pritchett hasn’t played yet this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Auburn: QB Payton Thorne. The graduate transfer from Michigan State threw for 282 yards and a touchdown and ran for 123 yards and two more scores last week against Samford. He is the first Auburn QB since Nick Marshall in 2014 to throw for 200 yards and run for 100 yards in a single game.
Texas A&M: WR Ainias Smith. He had seven catches for 127 yards last week for the fifth 100-yard game of his career. Smith has 140 receptions for 1,806 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career, putting him in the top-10 in school history in all three categories. He has at least one catch in 32 consecutive games.
FACTS & FIGURES
These teams first met in 1911 when the Aggies got a 16-0 win. … They didn’t meet again until a 36-16 Texas A&M win in the Cotton Bowl in 1986. … Auburn has won four of five meetings at Kyle Field. … The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games played in Texas. … The Aggies are 27-7 at home under coach Jimbo Fisher. … The Aggies are tied for first in the SEC with 15 pass breakups this season. … WR Evan Stewart started the season with consecutive 100-yard games before missing last week’s game with an injury.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll