AU 45, Aggies 41: News, Notes & Quotes Part 1

News, notes and quotes from Auburn's exciting SEC victory are featured as the Tigers won on the road at Texas A&M.

College Station, Tex.--Nick Marshall had already shown he could lead the Tigers to a do-or-die game-winning drive vs. SEC competition so the Auburn quarterback said he and the offense were confident they could do it again on Saturday vs. Texas A&M.

Training 41-38 when the Tigers got the football with five minutes and five seconds left, Marshall converted the initial third down play on the drive with a four yard run and the offense was off to the races.

The big gainer on the drive was a 27-yard pass from Marshall to freshman receiver Marcus Davis to convert a third down at nine at the Texas A&M 39. From the 12 the Tigers scored in three plays with Tre Mason running in from five yards out to quiet the crowd of 87,165 at Kyle Field.

Marcus Davis makes a catch on Auburn's final drive.

Asked what he was thinking as the Tigers took over on their own 25 to start the possession, Marshall said, "My mindset was call everything correct because I knew it was going to be on the loud. I knew I had to tune it out and execute."

Marshall, who missed last week's game with a knee problem, said he was full speed vs. the Aggies.

"The knee was good," he said. "Drew, our trainer, worked on me all week. I give a shout out to him because he really got my knee back to 100 percent for real."

Marshall said the Tigers are improving as a team and building belief in what they are doing. "We were very confident going into the last drive," he said. "After we scored I knew our defense was going to hold them and they did."

Auburn improved to 6-1 with the record and 3-1 in the SEC. The Tigers have doubled last year's victory total.

Marshall said he wasn't surprised by how the game developed. "I knew it was going to be shootout because both of us have great offenses," he said.

The quarterback added, "Like Coach (Gus) Malzahn said, we are going to the top," the quarterback said. "We are getting our edge back."

In other news and notes:

*The Auburn defense rallied in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line and got two Dee Ford sacks on Johnny Manziel on Texas A&M's final possession as the Tigers continued their practice of a heavy rotation on the front four.

"You've got to try to bottle up the guy," Malzahn said. "He is phenomenal when things break down. In the fourth quarter when he came back I think we were a little bit fresher there and made the two big plays towards the end."

*Malzahn said he believes the Tigers are steadily improving. "We're learning about our team every week. They answered this test. We feel like we've improved. Even last week we played a 1-AA opponent, but I felt like we improved. We were curious how we would respond on the road, better than LSU. I'm very proud."

*Senior Ryan Smith started in place of sophomore Josh Holsey, who was injured in practice back in Auburn and is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Smith had one of Auburn's two interceptions.

*Kris Frost started at middle linebacker in place of Jake Holland, who had missed practice time while recovering from a concussion. Holland played in a reserve role.

*Walk-on wide receiver Melvin Ray made his first start.

*A large contingent of Auburn fans showed up for Tiger Walk, but had to be content on waving to the team buses as they drove past the fans into the fenced area surrounding the stadium.

*Texas A&M's mounted horse calvary unit complete with cannon made a grand entrance into Kyle Field in pre-game. A unit attached to A&M's ROTC program was part of the campus scene until 1943 when the U.S. Army quit using horses. The unit was reorganized in 1974.

*Saturday's game was Auburn's first-ever appearance in a football game at Texas A&M and just the fourth all-time meeting between the programs on the gridiron. The Aggie came into the contest 3-0 vs. the Tigers.

*The Tigers' 96-yard scoring drive in the second quarter that featured a Marshall to Quan Bray pass was Auburn's longest since the 2010 Ole Miss game.

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