South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)

Aggies battle back

Mond leads No. 5 Texas A&M in comeback win over Auburn

- By John Zenor

AUBURN, Ala. — Kellen Mond passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third and Texas A&M, ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings, scored 17 points in the fourth quarter of a come-frombehind 31-20 win overAuburn on Saturday.

The Aggies (7-1) dominated the final quarter to win their sixth straight and remain in College Football Playoff contention. The Tigers (5-4), who have gone 0-3 against teams ranked in the top five at the time, led 20-14 entering the fourth.

Mondreboun­ded fromhiswor­st gameof the season against LSU with a strong performanc­e. He completed 18 of 23 for 196 yards, highlighte­d by two TDs to Jalen Wydermyer, and ran for 60 yards.

Seth Small iced the game with a 32-yard field goal with just over aminute remaining after an earlier miss had helped Auburn remainwith­in a score.

Isaiah Spiller hadhis fifth 100-yardgame of the current winning streak, gaining 120 on 20 carries. DevonAchan­e also ran for 99 yards on just nine carries. Wydermyer caught eight passes for 89 yards.

The Aggies took a 21-20 lead early in the fourth quarter when Auburn linebacker Zakoby McClain tipped the ball into the arms of tight end Wydermyer for a touchdown — instead of what could have been a game-changing intercepti­on.

Then Ainias Smith followed his 37-yard catch with a 4-yard run into the end zone. Auburn couldn’tmuster any late offense or defensive stops after winning the past three meetings. Bo Nix had a highlight reel play on one of his two touchdown runs for Auburn, but also overthrew a wide-open Eli Stove in the end zone. After a 28-yard completion and a 20-yard scramble, Nix escaped the grasp of 325-pound defensive tackle Bobby Brown and appeared about to go down. Then he scrambled left and barreled into the end zone.

Nix passed for 144 yards and ran for 49. Both quarterbac­ks ran for touchdowns late in the second quarter, butMond struck last on a quarterbac­k sneak with 24 seconds left for a 14-10 halftime lead.

 ?? KEVIN C. COX/GETTY ?? Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond (11) rushes against Auburn during the second half on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama.
KEVIN C. COX/GETTY Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond (11) rushes against Auburn during the second half on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama.

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