Johnson throws 2 TD passes after Weigman injured to lead Texas A&M to 27-10 win over Auburn

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 3:08 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Max Johnson threw for 123 yards and two second-half touchdowns after taking over for an injured Conner Weigman to lead Texas A&M to a 27-10 win over Auburn Saturday.

Weigman threw for 70 yards before he was injured on a hit late in the second quarter. He limped to the locker room, looking to have trouble putting any weight on his right foot, and the team said he had a lower leg injury.

Johnson took over for the third quarter and got right to work, leading Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) on a 46-yard drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass to younger brother Jake Johnson to make it 13-3 with about 10 minutes left in the third.

Johnson found Evan Stewart in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown pass on A&M’s next possession to stretch the lead to 20-3 with about 6½ minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Kayin Lee forced a fumble by Rueben Owens, and it sailed through the air into the hands of Eugene Asante, who raced 67 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 10 early in the fourth. Asante almost crashed into Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher on the play, running between him and the sideline after Fisher drifted onto the field during the play.

The Tigers got a stop after that, but their drive stalled, and they had to punt.

Amari Daniels had a 79-yard run two plays later to set up a 4-yard scoring run by Le’Veon Moss that made it 27-10.

Payton Thorne threw for 44 yards as Auburn (3-1, 0-1) lost for the first time this season after winning its first three games for the first time since 2019. The Tigers also used Robby Ashford and Holden Geriner at quarterback, but they combined for just 12 yards passing on a day the Aggies had seven sacks.

Thorne, who threw for 282 yards and ran for 123 yards last week, finished with 11 carries for minus-34 yards rushing Saturday.

The Aggies were up 6-0 after two early field goals when Damari Alston grabbed a short pass behind the line of scrimmage. He was hit immediately by Tyreek Chappell and looked to have fumbled. Edgerrin Cooper scooped up the ball, and after escaping one defender, ran 63 yards untouched for a touchdown.

But the play was reviewed and ruled an incomplete pass, to negate the score and give the Tigers the ball back.

After their two field goals, the Aggies punted on their next three drives before halftime.

The Tigers had good field position on their final drive of the first half, but Thorne was sacked twice in three plays to bring up fourth down just before halftime. Alex McPherson made a 53-yard field goal with five seconds left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 6-3.


Auburn: After failing to score a touchdown on offense against the Aggies, the Tigers will have to figure out a way to get their offense going and better protect their quarterbacks before next week’s meeting with top-ranked Georgia.

Texas A&M: The Aggies will have to wait and see how long Weigman’s injury will keep him out. If he can’t go next week, Johnson will have to be more consistent after starting out strong before struggling to move the offense Saturday.


Auburn: Host Georgia next Saturday.

Texas A&M: Plays Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas next Saturday.

Texas A&M Football Post Game Notes

Texas A&M 27, Auburn 10

Kyle Stadium (Bryan-College Station, Texas)

Team Notes

  • The Texas A&M defense forced an Auburn punt or turnover on downs on 10-of-11 drives, including five 3-and-outs.
  • The Aggies limited Auburn to just 3-of-15 (20.0%) on third down, which marked the fourth straight game with three-or-fewer successful third-down tries by their opponent. Over the past two games, the Aggies have limited opponents to 4-of-37 (10.8%) on third-down tries. For the season, opponents have successfully converted just 20.4% (10-of-49) on third down.
  • The Aggies harassed the Auburn signal-callers all day, while producing a season-high 7.0 sacks, which marked the most sacks by an Aggie squad since the defense generated 7.0 against South Carolina in 2017.
  • The Maroon & White limited Auburn to 10 points, which marked the first time the defense has allowed 10-or-fewer points in an SEC game since beating Auburn, 20-3, in 2021.
  • The Texas A&M defense has held opponents without a touchdown on all eight opening series of the game and second half in 2023. Auburn was limited to 3-and-outs on both opening drives.
  • Texas A&M has scored at least a field goal on every game-opening possession and added points in three of four games on second-half openers.
  • Texas A&M hit the 400-yard plateau in total offense for the fourth straight game with 402 total yards against the Tigers. The Aggies limited the Tigers to 200 total yards, which was a season low allowed for Texas A&M and season low gained for Auburn.
  • A&M held its opponent to less than 100 yards through the air for the second straight week and the 10th time under head coach Jimbo Fisher after allowing just 56 yards through the air.
  • The Aggies produced 6.9 yards per play, while limiting the Tigers to 3.1 yards per play.
  • Ten different players combined to generate 15 tackles behind the Tiger line of scrimmage. Producing multiple TFLs were junior LB Edgerrin Cooper (3.0), freshman LB Taurean York (2.0), sophomore DB Bryce Anderson (2.0), Sophomore DL Walter Nolen (2.0) and senior LB Chris Russell Jr. (1.5).
  • Today’s captains against Auburn were OL Layden Robinson, DL McKinnley Jackson, DB Demani Richardson and WR Ainias Smith.

Individual Notes

  • Sophomore QB Max Johnson came off the bench and connected on 7-of-11 passes for 123 yards including two touchdowns as his two scoring strikes marked the first time in his A&M career he has thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game.
  • Johnson’s interception-free game increased his streak of pass attempts without a pickoff to 102, while at Texas A&M.
  • Johnson came in for sophomore QB Conner Weigman, who left the game late in the second quarter with a lower leg injury. Before departing Weigman had completed 8-of-14 passes for 70 yards.
  • Graduate WR Ainias Smith moved past Jhamon Ausbon (2017-19) into eighth on A&M’s all-time receiving yards list after his 78 yards against Auburn upped his career total to 1,884.
  • Smith’s 13-yard reception in the first quarter gave him 31-consecutive games with at least one reception, which dates back to the LSU game of the 2019 season and ranks as the 10th-longest streak in the nation.
  • Sophomore TE Jake Johnson scored the first touchdown of his career, battling his way into the end zone after catching a 22-yard pass from his brother, Max, midway through the third quarter. This marked the first time in school history that brothers have connected on a touchdown pass and catch.
  • Sophomore WR Evan Stewart scored the fifth touchdown of his career and third of the season on a 37-yard reception in the third quarter.
  • Sophomore RB Le’Veon Moss posted career highs in both rushing yards and carries with 97 yards on 15 carries. He had a career-long rush of 36 yards in the first quarter and scored on a 4-yard rush for the Aggies’ final TD in the victory.
  • Junior RB Amari Daniels produced the Aggies’ long play of the season with a 79-yard rush late in the fourth quarter. For the game, Daniels rushed for a career-high 85 yards on five carries.
  • Freshman LB Taurean York posted the first double-digit tackles game of his career with 11 stops while also filling the stat sheet with a half-sack and 2.0 tackles for loss.
  • Junior LB Edgerrin Cooper led the way with a career-high 2.0 sacks, while sophomore DL Walter Nolen and senior LB Chris Russell Jr. chipped in with 1.5 sacks to each set new career marks.
  • Junior PK Randy Bond made it back-to-back weeks with 50-plus yard field goals as he sailed a 51-yarder through the uprights to put the Aggies on the board in the first quarter.