AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Seth Williams figures there’s only one likely outcome on a mid-air battle for the ball, and it’s exactly what happened with the game in the balance.
The Auburn freshman came down with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham with 1:41 left and the Tigers rallied to beat No. 25 Texas A&M 28-24 on Saturday.
“Zero chance I wasn’t coming down with it,” Williams said. “It’s going to come down with me if it’s up in the air.”
The Tigers (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) sputtered early on offense but finished with a 14-point outburst over the final 5:14 and the defense came up with big stops. Stidham delivered big plays on both final drives.
Kellen Mond and the Aggies (5-4, 3-3) pushed the ball into Auburn territory on their final drive, converting a fourth-and-5. Then a holding call pushed them back across midfield and Mond’s desperation pass to the end zone was incomplete.
Officials put one second back on the clock but Mond was sacked by Nick Coe on the final play.
“You think the game’s over,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “The game’s over, you shake the other coach’s hand … and then they tell you to come back out.”
The Tigers, who had plummeted from a No. 8 ranking, trailed 24-14 before staging the rally. Texas A&M had missed a late field goal following another defensive stand.
Stidham started the final drive with a 47-yard pass to Ryan Davis, who spun away from defenders and raced downfield. Then came Williams’ second 11-yard touchdown catch of the day, in the back corner of the end zone.
Auburn had gotten new life with the first career interception by Noah Igbinoghene on what Malzahn called “probably the play of the game.” Stidham led the Tigers down the field and completed two straight sideline passes to Darius Slayton to set up Chandler Cox’s 1-yard touchdown run, making it 24-21.
The defense held again and Christian Tutt returned a punt to the 42.
“We knew if we left any life in them, they were going to fight, scratch and claw,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “That’s what they always do, and we did that. We played excellent football for three quarters.”
Stidham completed 18 of 29 passes for 239 yards. Slayton had eight catches for 107 yards.
Auburn won despite running for just 19 yards on 21 carries. It was the fewest by the Tigers since gaining 18 against Mississippi State in 2000.
Trayveon Williams ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns for Texas A&M. He caught five passes for 75 yards and a third score.
“It’s a tough way to lose, to dominate the whole game like that,” Aggies defensive lineman Landis Durham said. “We preach and preach to finish, and we fell short of that. Now we’re hurt.”
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