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Two late fumbles doom Auburn against Texas A&M


Auburn quite literally handed Texas A&M an upset win during a wild finish Saturday that presumably eliminated the defending SEC champion Tigers from College Football Playoff contention.

Texas A&M 41, Auburn 38. And it won't be one that Tigers fans forget anytime soon.

On the brink of scoring a game-winning touchdown, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall botched a read-option play with running back Cameron Artis-Payne inside the Texas A&M 5-yard line with 2:37 left in the game, and a beleaguered Aggies defense recovered to maintain the lead. Marshall appeared to give the ball to Cameron-Artis Payne, but tried to pull it out after Artis-Payne had taken possession, resulting in the loose ball. Then, after the Auburn defense forced a three-and-out and regained possession with 1:28 remaining, the Tigers drove within game-tying field-goal range before a shotgun snap by center Reese Dismukes caught Marshall by surprise, bounced off his leg, and was recovered by Texas A&M once again.

While Auburn's offense self-destructed in the final minutes, Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen threw four touchdown passes in his first career SEC start, on the road at one of the league's most hostile venues. Allen finished 19 of 29 for 277 yards and four touchdown passes, two to Josh Reynolds.

Marshall's ball security problems late in the game overshadowed what was otherwise an impressive performance (15 of 21, 219 yards, 67 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns). Meanwhile, Artis-Payne played his career-best game, rushing 30 times for 221 yards and two scores.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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