Preview of No. 20 Texas A&M at Auburn; Chizik coaching with hea - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview of No. 20 Texas A&M at Auburn; Chizik coaching with heavy heart

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Gene Chizik will be coaching with a heavy heart on Saturday night after losing his mother, Rita Chizik, on Monday. (abc3340.com) Gene Chizik will be coaching with a heavy heart on Saturday night after losing his mother, Rita Chizik, on Monday. (abc3340.com)

A reeling Auburn Tigers team will host the 20th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies led by freshman sensation Johnny Manziel on Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Tigers head coach Gene Chizik and his future on the Plains has been the hot topic of conversation in the SEC in recent weeks, and he'll need to pull off an upset against the Aggies to quell the swelling outcry for his firing.  Auburn is off to their worst start in 60 years with their 1-6 record through seven games.

Chizik will be coaching with a heavy heart as he copes with the loss of his mother.  Rita Chizik passed away early Monday morning.  Click here for story.

First-year defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder likely had some late nights in the football offices in Auburn this week as he prepared for A&M's dynamo quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka, Johnny Football.  Manziel has entered the Heisman discussion for 2012 after posting gaudy, Cam Newton-like numbers in the first half of the season.  He will enter Saturday's game with nearly 2,000 yards passing, 703 yards rushing and having accounted for 24 total touchdowns -- 14 passing and 10 rushing.

Meanwhile, Auburn's defense has struggled to stop opposing quarterbacks and they are currently ranked near the bottom in FBS in both passing and rushing defense.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.


Matchup Breakdown

 TA&MAUB
W-L 5-2 1-6
Avg Points 43.0 15.7
Avg Points Allowed 22.1 25.1
Home Record 2-2 1-3
Road Record 3-0 0-3
Division Record 2-1 0-4
Conference Record 2-2 0-5

Passing Leaders

 
Texas A&MCMP%YDSTDINT
J. Manziel 63.8 1956 14 6
J. Showers 50.0 115 0 1
 
AuburnCMP%YDSTDINT
K. Frazier 54.4 664 2 8
C. Moseley 64.4 373 1 3

Rushing Leaders

 
Texas A&MCARYDSAVGTD
J. Manziel 108 703 6.5 10
B. Malena 72 462 6.4 4
 
AuburnCARYDSAVGTD
T. Mason 93 474 5.1 4
O. McCalebb 65 332 5.1 2

Receiving Leaders

 
Texas A&MRECYDSAVGTD
M. Evans 42 625 14.9 2
R. Swope 30 380 12.7 3
 
AuburnRECYDSAVGTD
E. Blake 30 425 14.2 2
P. Lutzenkirchen 15 139 9.3 0
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