The Auburn defense gave up 502 yards to Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel but he was finally stopped in his tracks, thanks to Tigers’ defensive end Dee Ford.

Ford ensured his team’s, 45-41, upset victory over No. 7 Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) by dropping the Aggie’s elusive Heisman Trophy quarterback twice in three plays at the end of the game. His sacks drove the Aggies back 30 yards. His last one ended the game when he drug down Manziel on fourth down from the Auburn 21 yard line with 11 seconds left to play.

The thrilling end to the high-scoring Southeastern Conference game earned No. 24 Auburn (6-1, 3-1) selection as the Week 8 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

Auburn, which entered the game leading the SEC with 287 yards rushing a game, piled on plenty of offense, too. It gained 379 yards rushing against the Aggies with Tigers’ running back Tre Mason leading the way with 178 yards on 27 carries. Mason had a 53-yard run to set up his go-ahead TD with 1:19 remaining when he stretched over the goal line on a 5-yard run.

Auburn’s quarterback Nick Marshall threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 100 yards and two more scores for the Tigers.

It was a sweet victory for Auburn which last year didn’t win a single SEC game and was battered by
Texas A&M, 63-21.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit