COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Micheal Clemons scored the game’s only touchdown on a 24-yard fumble return early in the fourth quarter, and No. 13 Texas A&M beat No. 12 Auburn 20-3 on Saturday.
Clemons’ scoop-and-score came after defensive tackle Jayden Peevy poked the ball away from scrambling Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. Clemons, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end, picked up the ball and sprinted to the end zone, diving to the ground after he crossed the goal line.
Zach Calzada finished 15 of 29 for 192 yards for Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference), shaking off an apparent injury to his non-throwing shoulder in the third quarter. His performance was was good enough for the Aggies to survive a defensive battle between the two highest-ranked two-loss teams in the country.
Auburn (6-3, 3-2) had its four-game winning streak in College Station snapped.
Calzada woke up the crowd of 109,835 — the second-largest in Kyle Field history — with a 49-yard completion to Caleb Chapman late in the third quarter, setting up a 29-yard field goal by Seth Small that gave the Aggies a 6-3 lead.
Small put the Aggies up 9-3 with a 47-yard field goal with 13:40 remaining before the Aggies’ defense finally found the end zone. Small connected again from 37 yards with 3:15 remaining.
Small opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 21-yard kick, and Auburn answered with Anders Carlson’s 32-yard field goal late in the quarter.
Both Small and Carlson missed midrange field-goal attempts that would have broken the 3-3 tie.
Auburn: The Tigers finished with 73 yards rushing on 29 attempts, led by Tank Bigsby, who had 69 yards. ... Nix complete 20 of 41 passes for 153 yards, with the fumble and an interception. ... Auburn was 4 of 16 on third-down conversions.
Texas A&M: The Aggies had solid rushing performances from Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane, who had 112 and 98 yards, respectively. ... The Aggies struggled to move the chains at times due to untimely dropped passes.
Texas A&M could move up a couple spots but may not crack the top 10. Auburn will fall at least a few spots but will likely remain ranked.
Auburn: Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.
Texas A&M: At Ole Miss on Saturday.