Report card: Grading Auburn football's offense, defense, coaching in loss to Texas A&M

Josh Vitale
Montgomery Advertiser

AUBURN — Auburn's final bid to defeat a ranked opponent this season came up empty in a 31-20 loss to No. 5 Texas A&M.

More:3 things we learned from the Tigers' loss

Here's how we'd grade the Tigers' performance:

Offense: C

Auburn did a decent job of getting things rolling, especially on the ground, during the middle portion of the game. Bo Nix's first rushing touchdown was nothing short of heroic. But two red zone field-goal tries proved killers, as did a pair of three-and-outs after Texas A&M took the lead.

Defense: F

The final tally was only 31 points, but you could argue that was the worst game of the Kevin Steele era. The Aggies piled up 509 total yards, averaged 7.3 yards per play and converted 7 of 11 third downs.

Auburn linebacker Owen Pappoe (0) during the game against Texas A&M on Dec. 5, 2020.

Special teams: B

Auburn actually did a pretty good job of pinning Texas A&M in bad field position. Anders Carlson made both field goal attempts, and Eli Stove had a long kickoff return.

Coaching: F

Auburn's offense began performing better once it decided to establish the run, but the defense just did not seem remotely prepared to play.

Overall: D

Saturday was not a complete and total failure. Auburn led the No. 5 team in the country in the fourth quarter. It had a chance to win. It just didn't make the plays it needed to down the stretch.

Josh Vitale is the Auburn beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoshVitale. To reach him by email, click here.