It didn't take Gus Malzahn long to get a signature win at Auburn.
In Game 7 of Year 1, Malzahn and the 24th-ranked Tigers went into College Station (Tx.), and defeated No. 7 Texas A&M, 45-41, in a thriller at Kyle Field on Saturday.
The teams combined for more than 1,200 yards of offense. And, Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, was his usual self, accounting for 500-plus yards on his own.
But Auburn, now 6-1, 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference, was not to be denied.
If anything, this team is resilient.
With Texas A&M driving in the final minute, the Tigers had a few crucial stops, including a sack on fourth down that ended it.
"Our defense came through," Malzahn said.
So did the offense.
Auburn scored 21 fourth-quarter points. At one time, the Aggies led 34-24.
The Tigers finished with 615 total yards, including 379 yards on the ground. Tre Mason rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown. Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall added 236 passing yards, and 100 with his legs.
Marshall accounted for four touchdowns -- two via the pass and two on the ground.
Mason's biggest carry came with 1:19 left, when he scored from 5 yards out to give Auburn the lead for good.
Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2), with time running out, quickly moved down field behind the arm of Manziel (454 yards passing, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions).
But on 3rd-and-18 from the Auburn 26, Manziel was tackled by Auburn linebacker Kris Frost after only a 5-yard gain.
On fourth down, he was sacked by Dee Ford.
"I'm just proud of our kids," Malzahn said. "We played one of the better teams in college football on their home field and found a way to win."
Some key stats ...
-Auburn ran 85 plays, averaging 7.2 yards per play.
-Auburn rushed for 379 yards on 60 carries.
-Time of possession: Auburn 32:16, Texas A&M 27:44.
-Auburn was 7 of 14 on third down; the Aggies were 5 of 13.
-Nick Marshall completed 11 of 23 passes for 236 yards. He had a QB rating of 162.7.
-Auburn's three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter covered a combined 219 yards.
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