Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 10/24/12
A victory over Auburn Saturday would get No. 22-ranked Texas A&M the six wins to be bowl eligible this season. While that may sound good to some, it's not even something that's entered the mind of first year head coach Kevin Sumlin. "We have not talked about that," said Sumlin. "We have not talked to the team at all about that. We've got enough to deal with right now week-to-week. That's more of a bigger picture plan. At this point we haven't discussed that." The Aggies have spent plenty of time discussing Auburn. While the Tigers are 1-6 on the season and winless (0-5) in SEC play, that means nothing to Sumlin as Texas A&M begins a stretch or three-consecutive games on the road. "Here's a program that one of the storied programs of all time," Sumlin said. "They're just coming off a national title two years ago, three straight top 10 recruiting classes, a program with a lot of pride. Whenever you go on the road there's a lot of concern. If you look closely at all their games, they've been in them until the fourth quarter. Here's a team you hope you go on the road and you they struggle." Auburn's lone win this year came with a late rally against Louisiana Monroe. Since that victory, the Tigers have dropped four straight but two of the four have been by four points or less, including a 12-10 loss to LSU. The Aggies have never played at Auburn and have only played the Tigers twice, with the last game coming at the 1986 Cotton Bowl. In that 36-16 victory over Auburn, the Aggies kept Auburn Heisman Trophy running back Bo Jackson in check. While A&M doesn't boast a Heisman Trophy running back, the Aggies (5-2, 2-2) have been able to get solid running back play from their three-headed monster of Christine Michael, Ben Malena and true freshman Trey Williams. Quarterback Johnny Manziel is the team's leading rusher with 703 yards but Malena has added 462, Michael 196 and Williams 107. The Aggies lead the SEC in rushing yards per game at 221 and rank 19th nationally. Malena has been the most consistent runner while Michael is coming off a junior season that ended early because of a knee injury. Williams didn't play much against in last week's 24-19 loss to LSU because Sumlin said neither Williams nor the coaching staff were comfortable with Williams' pass protection against LSU. While this was supposed to be the breakout season for Michael, a senior, it's been Malena who's handled the bulk of the running back load. "What Ben has given us is a steady guy," Sumlin said. "It helps a lot. Christine is off a knee injury and it's been a process for him. We really needed another guy. Ben has been the light in the storm sort of speak, just a real steady guy."
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