Texas A&M 29, Auburn 16: News, Notes & Quotes From AU's SEC Football Opener

News, notes and quotes are featured as Auburn dropped a 29-16 decision to Texas A&M in its SEC football opener.

Auburn, Ala.--For the most of Auburn's 29-16 football loss to visiting Texas A&M the defense played well enough to provide the opportunity for a win with the exception of a couple of big plays.

One was a fourth-quarter 89-yard run by Trayveon Williams with 6:52 to play that basically iced the contest by giving the Aggies a 29-10 cushion. The other came in the second quarter when A&M quarterback Trevor Knight connected with wideout Josh Williams, who got behind Tiger senior defensive back Josh Holsey for a 51-yard gain to the Auburn seven-yard line. Two plays later the Aggies took a 10-7 lead and never trailed after that.

“If I didn’t give that up, they don’t score a first-half touchdown,” Holsey lamented. “I’m a better player than that and have to make that play next time.”

The Tiger defense held Texas A&M to five Daniel LaCamera field goals to keep giving the offense opportunities to put points on the board and stay within striking distance or take the lead against the Aggies. However, the offense was sluggish after scoring on an 80-yard drive its second possession. A Daniel Carlson field goal on the final play of the first half and Kerroyn Johnson’stwo-yard touchdown run with 2:59 in the game were the only points the offense could add in the SEC football opener for both teams.

“Getting five three-and-outs was good,” Holsey said. “It’s hard to get them, but at the end of the day, it’s our job to hold them to less points than what our offense is scoring. We didn’t get the job done.

“Fatigue could have been a part of giving up the big play late, but I don’t really think that’s the case,” Holsey said. “We practice hard enough to play in any situation that comes at hand. We are never willing to settle for just a good effort if we don’t win. A loss is a loss.”

A veteran of SEC wars, Holsey knows that the Tigers face a difficult task when LSU visits Jordan-Hare Stadium next Saturday.

“We better come prepared,” he said. “They are a tough physical team that will come ready to run the football. We’ve got to get back to practice, put this loss behind us and get ready to stop a very good team.”

In other news and notes: 

*Sophomore RB Kamryn Pettway scored his first career touchdown in the first quarter on a one-yard run. Pettway topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight game, finishing with 123 yards. He had 152 the week before against. Arkansas State when he carried the ball for the first time in his college career.

*Sophomore quarterback Sean White completed his first six pass attempts of the game and finished 18-for-27 for 126 yards before being John Franklin III took over in the fourth quarter to try to give Auburn a “spark,” according to Coach Gus Malzahn.

*Sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson surpassed 1,000 career all-purpose yards with his 20-yard rush in the second quarter. He scored his fourth touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter. He has scored a TD in four straight games, dating back to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl win over Memphis.

*Senior wide receiver Tony Stevens had eight receptions for 86 yards, both new career-highs. His previous highs were four receptions for 75 yards against Arkansas a week earlier.

*Sophomore wide receiver Ryan Davis had five receptions for 36 yards, both career-highs. He had two catches for 17 yards in the season-opener versus Clemson for his previous game highs.  

*Senior defensive lineman Montravius Adams had his seventh career sack and first of the season in the first quarter. His last sack also came against Texas A&M in 2015 at College Station.

*Senior defensive back Johnathan Ford had five tackles and now has 236 for his career. He remains ninth on the Auburn all-time list (since 2004 press box stats era), four behind Josh Bynes, who compiled 240 tackles from 2007-10.

*Sophomore defensive end Byron Cowart had his first career forced fumble in the opening quarter.

*Sophomore linebacker DeShaun Davis finished with a career-high six tackles and shared the team lead with fellow linebacker Tre Williams.

*Freshman defensive end Marlon Davidson had a career-high four tackles. His best previously was three tackles against Arkansas State.

*Junior placekicker Daniel Carlson has now converted 106 consecutive extra-point attempts. He is one of six kickers in SEC history with at least 100 PAT attempts and no misses.

*Carlson kicked a 37-yard field goal against Texas A&M to end the second quarter, his 47th career field goal. He has made 23 of his last 24 field goals, dating back to the 2015 Kentucky game.

*Carlson now stands at 247 career points scored kicking (253 points total). He is now tied with Cody Parkey (2010-13) for sixth place all-time at Auburn in total points scored.

*Redshirt freshman Ian Shannon had his first career punt in the third quarter.

*Auburn’s defense held Texas A&M to 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) on third downs, the lowest since holding LSU to 0-for-13 in 2014.

*The Tigers continued their streak of not having a punt blocked, now at 93 consecutive games (only Hawaii has a longer active streak at 94).

*Auburn had 26 first downs in the game. The Tigers have gained 20 or more first downs 33 times under Gus Malzahn and 30 times in the last 38 games.

*Adams, Marcus Davis, Alex Kozan and Carl Lawson continued as captains for all three games this season. Texas A&M won toss, deferred to second half

*Auburn’s only penalty of the first half was a costly one. It negated a 61-yard punt inside the Aggie 10-yard line by Kevin Phillips, who then shanked his next effort for only 22 yards to the Texas A&M 40-yard line. That led to a 31-yard field goal by Daniel LaCamera to give the Aggies a 16-7 lead.

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