Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Texas A&M, Ohio State pull off upsets as playoff picture rounds into form

By Brittany Collens

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(Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/MCT)

(Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/MCT)

No. 3 Auburn was a 22-point favorite heading into its matchup against Texas A&M, but the Aggies shocked the Tigers 41-38 and dashed Auburn’s postseason hopes Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Texas A&M (7-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) came out firing to start the game.

Two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the game put the Aggies up 14-0, and freshman quarterback Kyle Allen threw four touchdowns for the Aggies in the first half.

Auburn (7-2, 4-2 SEC) cut the lead to 11 and had a chance to get within one possession as it lined up for a field goal late in the first half. But the kick was blocked, and Texas A&M senior Deshazor Everett returned it 65 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half.

Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall brought the team back in the second half, when he threw for one touchdown and ran for two. Eventually, Auburn cut the lead to three points, and was driving in Aggies territory with a chance to win the game late.

The Tigers have been known for their last-minute magic in the last few years, but this time their luck was spent. A miscommunication between Marshall and his offensive line on the decisive play of the game resulted in an Auburn fumble, and Alfonzo Williams recovering the ball for Texas A&M with 54 seconds left to seal the victory.

The Aggies hope to keep the momentum going as they host Missouri on Nov. 15 while Auburn travels to Georgia for a matchup with the Bulldogs.

Buckeyes gain upper hand in Big Ten

Ohio State remained in the playoff hunt Saturday, as the No. 14 Buckeyes beat No. 8 Michigan State 49-37 in East Lansing, Michigan.

Ohio State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) scored on nearly every possession thanks to a strong effort from quarterback J.T. Barrett. Barrett completed 16-of-26 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns, and added 86 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The Buckeyes trailed 21-14 late in the first half, but pulled after an offensive explosion. Two touchdowns late in the half put Ohio State up 28-21, and the Spartans (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) never led again.

Michigan State entered the game with the sixth-ranked offense in the country, but 37 points were not enough Saturday night. A typically reliable defense gave up 568 total yards and allowed the Buckeyes to convert 10-of-14 third down attempts. The Spartans were No. 8 in the country heading into the game, but the loss was a major blow to their diminishing playoff hopes.

To complement Barrett’s outstanding effort, running back Ezekiel Elliot ran for 154 yards and two scores. His counterpart – Michigan State senior Jeremy Langford – also had a dynamic night on the ground, running for 137 yards and three touchdowns.

Ohio State will travel to Minnesota on Saturday to face the Gophers, while the Spartans look to rebound with a matchup against Maryland.

Brittany Collens can be reached at [email protected]

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