In what was a rainy game at Sanford Stadium, Texas A&M lost 19-13 to No. 4 Georgia on the road on Saturday evening.
The loss snapped a four-game win streak for the Aggies, who fall to 7-4, while the Bulldogs picked up their tenth win of the season with only one loss on their record. Both teams will wrap up their regular seasons next weekend, as Texas A&M travels to LSU and Georgia travels to Georgia Tech.
Here are the best and worst moments from the SEC matchup:
Touchdown Catch and Run
The Aggies did not score a touchdown until the fourth quarter when they found life after abandoning the run and going up-tempo. Quarterback Kellen Mond found Jhamon Ausbon over the middle just four yards downfield but the receiver made the most of the opportunity, scoring on a 19-yard play. Ausbon caught the ball while running towards the right sideline, beat two defenders to the corner and turned up field before barreling his way into the end zone. After struggling to move the ball all game, the touchdown gave Texas A&M real hope, cutting Georgia’s lead to six points with 11 minutes remaining.
The two sides traded field goals until midway through the second quarter when quarterback Jake Fromm found George Pickens in the right side of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. Fromm was not perfect on the night, but he was perfect on the scoring play. The quarterback made a quick decision and threw a well-placed pass over the defender’s head and into the hands of his receiver. The touchdown put the score at 13-3 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half.
After struggling with field position early in the game, punter Braden Mann completely flipped the field for the Aggies at the end of the first quarter. Mann wrangled a high snap and booted the ball to the 15-yard line where it took a Texas A&M bounce, rolling to the one-yard line. The punt totaled 54 yards. Georgia went three-and-out on the following drive, which set up a field goal for the Aggies and saw the game tied 3-3 at the end of the first quarter. Mann won the 2018 Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s best punter each season.
This punt is a thing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/e5FMbiih2T— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 23, 2019
As talented a punter as Braden Mann is, Saturday afternoon was not his best game. After going three-and-out on their second possession of the game, the Aggies brought on Mann to punt from their own 25-yard line. The ball seemed to come off the side of his foot and travelled just 27 yards to Georgia’s 48-yard line. Rain was coming down for most of the first half, which may have led to the shank-like punt. Luckily for Mann, Georgia responded with a three-and-out of their own with the Aggies only trailing by three points.
Texas A&M entered Saturday afternoon’s game with confidence in their rushing attack, as they had averaged 239 yards in their previous four games. However, the Aggies had a disastrous game on the ground in Athens. They totaled minus-one yard all afternoon and were forced to abandon the running game in the second half. Running back Isaiah Spiller totaled just seven yards on 11 carries, while Mond ran nine times for minus-eight yards. Georgia are the best run defense in the SEC, allowing an average of 75 yards per game on the ground entering yesterday’s game, so it was always going to be a tough matchup for the Aggies.
Other than his lone touchdown pass in the second quarter, Jake Fromm did not play well on Saturday. The quarterback completed less than 50 percent of his passes for just 163 yards. More than once, Fromm overthrew open receivers on what would have been big plays, some for likely touchdowns. In Fromm’s defense, it was a rainy day and he did not turn the ball over, but Georgia will need him to play better if they want to hold onto their top-four playoff ranking heading into bowl season.