The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 26, 2012

No. 22 Texas A&M, Manziel descend on ailing Auburn

(Continued)

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin insists he's wary about a team that has repeatedly wilted in the fourth quarter.

"This is a prideful program two years off of a national championship," Sumlin said. "If you look at recruiting rankings, they've had three straight top-10 recruiting classes. There are a lot of good players on this team. And this is one of the storied programs in college football. There's tradition and pride. They're playing at home and we're going to get their best shot.

"A wounded animal is a lot of times the most dangerous."

There have been few if any signs that is poised to happen.

Auburn is planted in 118th nationally in total offense and one spot worse in scoring offense, out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Tigers have also been victimized for numerous negative plays and go against national sack leader Damontre Moore.

It's been a rocky debut for offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and his pro-style offense after a system that peaked with Newton and the national title team.

Now, they're charged with trying to keep up with an offense that planted 58 points on an Arkansas defense that held Auburn to a single touchdown. Or at least keep Manziel off the field with sustained drives, which have been as elusive as the Aggies' quarterback.

"That's our plan to win here, is to keep their offense off the field," Loeffler said. "That's going to be crucial. We've got to keep drives alive. We've got to keep them off the field."

Manziel is second in the SEC in both rushing and passing. He has accounted for 24 touchdowns, while Auburn's entire offense has managed only 11. So much for troubles adjusting to life in the SEC with a young quarterback.

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