November 07, 2014

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Linebacker Kris Frost insists the Auburn Tigers aren't susceptible to a letdown in between an emotional win and a rivalry game.

The third-ranked Tigers are three-touchdown favorites for Saturday's game against Texas A&M, but have been on a high-wire lately with two straight dramatic finishes.

Frost said Auburn (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference), which is third in the College Football Playoff rankings, isn't letting down its guard after surviving against No. 12 Mississippi and South Carolina. Next up is No. 17 Georgia.

''With this team, that's never an issue for us,'' said Frost, who forced a late goal line fumble against the Rebels. ''We never go into a game with the mindset that we can relax. If anything, it puts us on higher guard against the team we're playing, like a team like South Carolina that has nothing to lose. And it comes out with all these trick plays and these double passes.

''Things like that will beat you, and beat good teams. They have many times in the past.''

The Aggies (6-3, 2-3) have dropped three straight SEC games, punctuated by a 59-0 loss to No. 4 Alabama in their last trip to this state.

They've turned to freshman quarterback Kyle Allen for an already young team that also struggled to put away Louisiana-Monroe.

''I think our guys are in a place right now where we have some guys playing that haven't played a lot that are anxious to play and anxious to prove themselves,'' Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said.

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Here are some things to watch in the Texas A&M-Auburn game:

ALLEN'S CHALLENGE: Allen did get a start and a win under his belt against Louisiana-Monroe, but this is his road debut as the starter. The Tigers, who have given up 757 passing yards the past two games, faced a similar situation in LSU freshman Brandon Harris's first start. They held him to 3-of-14 passing for 58 yards. ''It'll sort of be a guessing game,'' Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said. ''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.''

STOPPING THE RUN: Texas A&M's defense faces a big challenge from the SEC's leading rusher Cameron Artis-Payne, Marshall and the league's top ground game. Marshall has five rushing touchdowns in the past two games. The Aggies rank 12th in the league against the run, allowing 177.8 yards a game.

BLOCKING GARRETT: With an elusive quarterback and a veteran offensive line, the Tigers have only allowed six sacks this season. They'll try to protect Marshall from the Aggies and defensive end Myles Garrett, whose 11 sacks is second in the SEC and a league record for freshman. The Aggies have racked up 30 sacks already, also second in the league.

AGGIES INJURIES: Sumlin said early in the week that cornerback Deshazor Everett is ''iffy'' with a ruptured ligament in his elbow. Right tackle Germain Ifedi is expected to be out for the rest of the regular season with a sprained knee ligament, Sumlin said. That likely means Cedric Ogbuehi will move from left tackle to the right side and be replaced by guard Jarvis Harrison.

REMEMBERING 2012: In the Aggies' only previous visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium, another young quarterback abused the struggling Tigers. Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel won 63-21 in 2012, racking up 671 total yards, the most Auburn had ever allowed. ''The last time they came here, they embarrassed us, and that's a feeling you never want to have again,'' Frost said. ''There's a lot of angry seniors on our team, so we're going to play for them.''

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