Skip to main content Skip to footer
Auburn prepares for whatever Texas A&M may throw its way
Nov. 8, 2014

Ellis Johnson has been working on a plan to stop Texas A&M

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  The last time a team started a true freshman quarterback started against Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium, well, the Tigers beat LSU 41-7.

Now welcome Kyle Allen, who will make his second-ever start as a college quarterback when Texas A&M meets Auburn at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. 

Allen has an advantage over LSU's Brandon Harris for he has started a game, A&M's 21-16 win over Louisiana-Monroe last weekend.  The Aggies brought him along slowly in that one after he apparently won the starting job even before A&M suspended Kenny Hill for two games.

Auburn's defense will have the experience over Allen, a five-star signee last February. But A&M has the mystery with the young quarterback after allowing him to throw it 28 times last weekend, though, really, that's the Aggies' average this year.

"It'll sort of be a guessing game," says Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. "I don’t know whether they’ll try to be cautious or not. It’s certainly not in their philosophy to do that. We’re going to prepare for the regular Texas A&M to come in here throwing it around."

Logic dictates this: "I'm pretty sure we're going to pressure him and try to make it like another LSU game," said linebacker Cassanova McKinzy.

Hill averaged 331 passing yards per game. Allen threw for 106 yards in a controlled passing game last weekend.

"There's a balance between what you ultimately want to do, and what that young man can handle," said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin during the SEC teleconference this week.

As in, there's no Johnny Manziel, or Kenny Hill, for that matter. All Manziel did against Auburn the last two seasons was to complete 44-of-61 passes for 714 yards and six touchdowns, and rush for another 138 yards and two more touchdowns.

"They’re not as old, as experienced as that crowd last year, but I know the young man’s got great talent and can throw the ball anywhere on the field," Johnson said. "It’s just a matter of them protecting him and him reading the coverages and those things."

Aside from Allen, Johnson said, "the route packages look about the same." And the run? Johnson says he's not sure if the Aggies will turn Allen loose.  

"I just believe the Texas A&M offensive playbook in here, and try to help the young man operate it. They've got the good enough players around him with offensive line and skill guys, he's certainly capable of moving the football."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



Buy Tickets

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE! is your home for buying tickets to Auburn athletic events.

Auburn Tigers
Official Store


Shop for your favorite items at the Auburn Tigers Official Online Store.

Tigers Unlimited, Join Today! Click for more information