Part 2, A&M 41, AU 38: News, Notes & Quotes

Comments from Jonathan Jones and notes on Auburn's loss to Texas A&M are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--As a cornerback on Auburn’s defense, Jonathan Jones knows that the secondary has had its problems in recent weeks, especially the last two home games against South Carolina and Texas A&M when they have allowed nine touchdown passes as heavy favorites.

Four of those came by true Aggie freshman Kyle Allen who had those scoring tosses in the first 20 minutes of Auburn’s 41-38 setback Saturday that likely knocked the Tigers out of the running for the SEC West title and a berth in the playoffs for the national championship.

Jones almost had his sixth interception of the season before the Aggies second touchdown, but could control the ball for what would have been a “pick six.”

The junior said each defensive back needs to take responsibility for giving up so many big plays. “We have to take individual pride and as a secondary we have to stick up and do our part. We haven’t been carrying our weight and have to pick it up,” he said.

“The communication issue isn’t between player and player. You have to get your card from the sideline and you have to do your job. I don’t care to blame it on any one person.”

Jones credited Texas A&M for some of the defense’s problems. “Honestly, half of it was they were making plays and we weren’t--and half of it was miscommunication. We’ll get back to it, get it corrected and move forward. I think in the second half we settled down and realized it’s a do-your-job game, especially when you play a sport like this. If one person doesn’t do his job, it can be a big factor.

“We have to move on,” he added. “It would be the same as if we won, same as when we lost to Mississippi State. We have to watch the film, make the corrections, and try to get better. We have to put this game behind us.”

In other news and notes:

*Gus Malzahn is 18-2 at home as a collegiate head coach (5-1 in 2012 at Arkansas State, 8-0 in 2013 and 5-1 in 2014 at Auburn).

* Auburn is 13-1 at Jordan-Hare Stadium since Malzahn took over as head coach for the 2013 season.

*Auburn is 16-1 when rushing for 250 or more yards under Gus Malzahn.

*Malzahn is 12-2 in one-score games as a college head coach (9-2 at Auburn).

*Auburn was held without a touchdown in the second quarter for just the third time in Malzahn’s Auburn head coaching career. The last time was Sept. 21, 2013 at LSU.

*Nick Marshall’s 67 yards rushing give him 1,766 for his career. He is now second in Auburn career QB rushing at 1,766 yards. He is 212 yards shy of the school record of 1,884 held by Phil Gargis (1973-76).

*Marshall’s 1,766, QB rushing yards are eighth in SEC history, passing Jimmy Sidle (Auburn/1,703 yards), Harry Gilmer (Alabama/1,759) and Derrick Ramsey (Kentucky/1,764). Next on the list is Andy Johnson (Georgia/1,799).

*Marshall recorded three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) to give him 23 career rushing touchdowns and 28 career passing touchdown. He has now accounted for 51 touchdowns in his career, passing Cam Newton (2010) and tying Stan White (1990-93) for fourth in school history.

*With 286 yards of total offense (219 yards passing, 67 yards rushing) on the day, Marshall is now sixth in Auburn career total offense with 5,318 yards, passing Patrick Nix (5,081 yards from 1992-95). Dameyune Craig is fifth with 6,455 yards.

*Coming into the game leading the SEC in rushing (and 18th nationally), Cameron Artis-Payne finished with a career-high 221 yards on a career-high 30 carries. It was his third straight 100-yard rushing game, his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season and the ninth of his career. It was his first 200-yard rushing game in his Auburn career. His previous highs were 177 yards against Arkansas earlier this year and 27 carries at Ole Miss last week.

*Artis-Payne’s 221-yard rushing game was the most by an Auburn player since Tre Mason rushed for 304 yards against Missouri in the 2013 SEC Championship game. His was the 27th 200-yard rushing game in Auburn history. The 221 yards rank 13th-most in school history in a single game.

*Artis-Payne reached 1,190 yards for the season and extended Auburn’s school record of consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher to six. It also extended Malzahn’s record of having at least one 1,000-yard rusher in all nine seasons as a college coach. He is the 12th-player to rush for 1,000 yards under Malzahn since 2006.

*Artis-Payne’s 1,190 yards rushing are currently 16th-most in school history. He is the 18th different Auburn player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Those 18 players have surpassed 1,000 yards a total of 26 times.

*Artis-Payne’s first-quarter fumble was his first in 159 rushing attempts. His only other fumble of the season came in the third quarter against Arkansas.

*Artis-Payne scored his eighth and ninth rushing touchdowns of the season and the 14th and 15th of his career in the first quarter. He has now scored at least one rushing touchdown in three straight games.

*Artis-Payne has 1,800 career rushing yards and his total ranks as the 20th-most in school history.

*Quan Bray’s fourth quarter touchdown reception was his third touchdown catch of the season and the sixth touchdown catch of his career.

*Jermaine Whitehead recorded his third interception of the season and sixth of his career in the second quarter.

*Cassanova McKinzy’s game-high 12 tackles tied a career high, also done at Vanderbilt in 2012.

*Angelo Blackson’s sack was his third of the season and 4.5 for his career.

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