COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 24 Auburn didn’t win a single Southeastern Conference game last season.
So no one could blame running back Tre Mason for shedding a few tears as the final seconds ticked on the Tigers’ 45-41 upset of No. 7 Texas A&M on Saturday.
“Those were tears of happiness,” he said. “We did something a lot of people didn’t think we could do.”
Nick Marshall accounted for four scores and Auburn battered Johnny Manziel in the victory. Last season the Aggies beat Auburn 63-21.
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Mason’s 5-yard score with less than 2 minutes to play was first placed at the 1, but it was reviewed and ruled a touchdown.
“Our plan was to be in the game at halftime and wear them down in the second half,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “I think for the most part it worked.”
A&M (5-2, 2-2 SEC) had a last chance, but Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, was sacked by Dee Ford on fourth down to secure the win.
“We didn’t make enough plays at the end of the day,” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We had our opportunities — couldn’t make a play.”
Manziel threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a fifth score, but was intercepted twice. He missed a series in the fourth quarter with an injury to his right shoulder. He returned but was constantly moving his right arm. Sumlin didn’t provide any details on the injury after the game, but said Manziel told him he was “ready to go.”
Marshall threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 100 yards and two more scores for Auburn (6-1, 3-1).
Texas A&M’s Mike Evans had a school-record 287 yards receiving with four touchdowns to become the first player in school history to have two 200-yard receiving games in a career. He scored on receptions of 26, 64, 42 and 33 yards.
Manziel wasn’t made available to the media after the game, and the school said Evans refused to do interviews.
Auburn entered the game leading the SEC with 287 yards rushing a game and piled up 379 yards rushing against the Aggies. Mason led the way with 178 yards.