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Texas A&M Football

Post Game Review: No. 21 Texas A&M 41, No. 4 Florida 38

October 10, 2020
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Defense was optional on Saturday at Kyle Field as the No. 4 Florida Gators faced No. 21 Texas A&M.

The two evenly-matched squads combined for 945 yards of total offense in a contest that the Aggies eventually won, 41-38.

In the first half alone, there were a combined 13 third-down situations, 12 of which were converted. The lone stop in the half led to a Florida fourth-and-1, and the Gators easily ran for a first down.

The game’s first punt came in the third quarter, and the game’s first three-and-out came late in the third stanza. Only four drives did not result in points.

In a 31-31 game with 8:30 remaining, Texas A&M converted a key third-down on a pass to Ainias Smith. However, the receiver-turned-tailback fumbled moving upfield and gave the Gators the ball in A&M territory. Florida would capitalize as Kyle Trask tossed his fourth passing touchdown of the day — a 1-yard pass to Dameon Pierce — to regain the lead, 38-31.

The Aggies answered immediately as Kellen Mond connected with Caleb Chapman for a 51-yard bomb. The ball was a tad bit underthrown, but Chapman ripped the ball away from UF corner Kaiir Elam. Seth Small’s point after attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage but still found its way through the uprights to tie the game.

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Mond was poised and on point in leading A&M to victory.

Buddy Johnson then forced Malik Davis to fumble to football, which DeMarvin Leal recovered at midfield with just 3:17 to play.

The Aggies ran methodically down to the Florida 8-yard line and then called upon Small to seal the upset with a 26-yard field goal.

In the first half, the two teams combined for six drives, each resulting in points.

Florida opened the game with a 75-yard scoring drive on 17-plays that ate up 7:28 of clock, culminating in a five-yard pass to Pitts, his seventh score of the season.

On the ensuing Texas A&M possession, Kellen Mond found Jalen Wydermyer on third-and-8 for 12 yards and a new first down. On the very next play, the Aggies took a shot deep down the field, and it actually worked as Mond found Caleb Chapman for 49 yards. Two plays later, on thrid-and-9, Mond connected with Chase Lane for an 11-yard touchdown strike to tie the score at 7-7.

Florida would answer right back as Trask found Kadarius Toney in the end zone for an 11-yard pitch and catch to regain the lead.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on Leon O’Neal and a subsequent squib kick gave the Aggies bad field position at their own 6-yard line. However, big plays (including a 30-yard pass to Ainias Smith) kept the chains moving. On third-and-goal, Mond hit Chapman in the back of the end zone for a two-yard score to pull even once again.

Florida answered right back, going on an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a one-yard score from running back Nay’Quan Wright.

Jimbo Fisher turned to his ground game on A&M’s next possession as he elected to get tailback Isaiah Spiller more involved, giving him the ball on three straight plays for 25 yards, including a 17-yard carry that moved the ball into plus-territory. However, poor clock management would again bite A&M as they had to burn their final timeout following a spike with 0:08 left in the half. A pass to Wydermyer was incomplete, and A&M was forced to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Small to make it 21-17 as the half expired.

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Early in the game, it looked like Kyle Pitts would dominate.

A&M’s first drive of the second half resulted in a punt that A&M punter Nik Constantinou dropped at the Florida 10-yard line. The game would get sloppy from there.

At one point on the next drive, Kyle Trask tossed an interception to Leon O’Neal, but an illegal hands-to-the-face penalty on Micheal Clemons wiped out the turnover.

Later on the drive, it appeared that the Aggies were going to benefit from a personal foul by Florida offensive lineman Stewert Reese, but O’Neal came in late for an offsetting unsportsmanlike penalty. On the next play, Trask tossed a 37-yard touchdown to Toney — burning O’Neal in the process — to make it 28-17.

Isaiah Spiller refused to let the Aggies quit, rushing for 13, 23, 13 and 6 yards on four consecutive plays to begin A&M’s next drive. Ainias Smith then carried the rock on three straight plays, picking up a pair of first downs in the process. Spiller would cap off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 28-24.

A&M then forced the game’s first three-and-out, and following the Florida punt, the Aggies remained committed to running the ball.

After two moderately successful carries by Spiller, Mond zipped a pass into a tight window to Wydermyer who made a beautiful one-handed snag to move the chains on third down.

Later on the drive, with the Aggies facing fourth-and-2 from the Florida 19-yard line, Fisher elected to keep his offense on the field and handed the ball to Isaiah Spiller on a counter. Spiller trucked linebacker Ventrell Miller, bounced outside, and not only picked up the two yards needed for the first down but took it to the house to give the Aggies their first lead of the game, 31-28.

Isaiah Spiller rushed for 174 yards on 27 carries (6.4 average) and two scores.

Texas A&M’s defense then came up with a stop in their own territory, but Gator kicker Evan McPherson nailed a 53-yard field goal, even after a pair of penalties pushed Florida backward.

Then came the Ainias Smith fumble followed by Trask’s touchdown pass to Dameon Pierce, giving Florida the lead once again. The Aggies would then score ten straight, and the rest is history.

This victory is the Aggies’ first win against a top-five opponent during the Jimbo Fisher era and could serve as a turning point for the program.

RUMBLED: The offenses. Both of them. As far as an individual performance goes, it has to be Isaiah Spiller. The Aggie tailback rushed for 174 yards on 27 carries (6.4 average) and two scores.

STUMBLED: Texas A&M’s defense seemingly forgot how to tackle at times. Yes, Florida’s offense under Dan Mullen is pretty lethal, but the Aggie tacklers whiffed too many times to count, only adding to the potency of the Gators’ attack. In total, Florida amassed 402 yards of total offense on the day. Florida’s defensive unit wasn’t much better as the Aggies totaled 534 yards of offense.

UNSUNG HERO: Seth Small’s point after attempts looked shaky at times, including one that was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but when the Aggies called on him with 0:02 remaining and a field goal attempt to win the game, the kicker nailed it.

TURNING POINT: Buddy Johnson forced Florida running back Malik Davis to fumble with 3:17 remaining, and DeMarvin Leal came up with the ball, giving the Aggies the ball at the 50-yard line. A&M would march down the field and kick a field goal as time expired to win the game.

KEY STAT: Third down conversions. A&M’s defense could never seem to get themselves off the field on Saturday. Florida converted on 6 of 9 third-down opportunities, and once on fourth down. The Aggies also had success, moving the chains 12 times on 15 third-down chances and also went 1-for-1 on fourth down.

Scoring Summary

First-quarter:

UF: 7:32 - Kyle Trask five-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Pitts. Drive: 17 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 7:28. Florida 7, Texas A&M 0.

A&M: 3:59 - Kellen Mond 11-yard touchdown pass to Chase Lane. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 3:33. Florida 7, Texas A&M 0.

UF: 2:18 - Kyle Trask 11-yard touchdown pass to Kadarious Toney. Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 2:17. Florida 14, Texas A&M 7.

Second-quarter:

A&M: 9:33 - Kellen Mond 2-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Chapman. Drive: 14 plays, 94 yards. TOP: 7:09. Florida 14, Texas A&M 14.

UF: 4:14 - Nay’Quan Wright 1-yard touchdown run. Drive: 11 plays. 75 yards. TOP: 5:19. Florida 21, Texas A&M 14.

A&M: 0:00 - Seth Small 19-yard field goal. Drive: 14 plays, 73 yards. TOP: 4:14. Florida 21, Texas A&M 17.

Third-quarter:

UF: 9:38 - Kyle Trask 37-yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney. Drive: 6 plays, 90 yards. TOP: 3:35. Florida 28, Texas A&M 17.

A&M: 4:18 - Isaiah Spiller 3-yard touchdown run. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 5:20. Florida 28, Texas A&M 24.

Fourth-quarter:

A&M: 12:35 - Isaiah Spiller 19-yard touchdown run. Drive: 10 plays, 66 yards, TOP: 5:42. Texas A&M 31, Florida 28.

UF: 9:54 - Evan McPherson 53-yard field goal. Drive: 7 plays, 40 yards. TOP: 2:41. Texas A&M 31, Florida 31.

UF: 6:14 - Kyle Trask 1-yard touchdown pass to Dameon Piecer. Drive: 5 plays, 37 yards. TOP: 2:12. Florida 38, Texas A&M 31.

A&M: 4:30 - Kellen Mond 51-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Chapman. Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 1:44. Florida 38, Texas A&M 38.

A&M: 0:00 - Seth Small 26-yard field goal. Drive: 8 plays, 40 yards. TOP: 3:40. Texas A&M 41, Florida 38.

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Post Game Review: No. 21 Texas A&M 41, No. 4 Florida 38

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