Story Poster
Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 41, Kent State 10

September 5, 2021
18,959

Texas A&M accumulated 595 yards, five touchdowns and 29 first downs in a 41-10 college football season-opening victory over Kent State on Saturday night.

Obviously, there was a lot to love from that showing. There were also some things to loathe. There was just as much from which to learn.

What I learned

Quarterback Haynes King can make plays off schedule: We suspected as much, but he proved it beyond all doubt. The most impressive example came early in the second quarter when King eluded pressure, dodged tackles and ventured almost sideline to sideline on a 14-yard scramble to convert a third-and-10.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Leon O’Neal’s two picks against the Golden Flashes were as many as he totaled in the entire 2020 season. 

Freshmen Bryce Foster and Shemar Turner are ready to make immediate impacts: They showed why they were rated five-star prospects. Foster started at center and helped running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane exceed 100 rushing yards. Turner did not start but did notch four tackles and a sack for a five-yard loss.

Leon O’Neal is faster than given credit: Detractors have mocked him as Leon Slo-Neal. He disproved that jab by returning an interception 85 yards for a touchdown to stake the Aggies to a 20-3 lead in the third quarter. Sure, he picked up good downfield blocking from DeMarvin Leal and Demani Richardson, but nobody could catch him from behind, either. It was the second of two interceptions O’Neal grabbed. He snatched another in the end zone just before halftime.

What I loved

Caleb Chapman’s return: The last time we saw Chapman playing for the Aggies he was catching a 51-yard touchdown pass in a 41-38 upset of Florida. Unfortunately, he tore an ACL on that play and missed the remainder of the 2020 season. Chapman returned to the lineup and again provided the deep threat the Aggies have missed without him. He caught four passes for 91 yards. One reception gained 53 yards. Chapman almost hauled in another deep throw in the second quarter on a play in which there might have been pass interference. The Kyle Field crowd definitely thought so.

The one-two punch of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane: The Aggies have a nasty hook and uppercut combination. Spiller rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries. He was actually under-used, especially in the first half when he had only nine carries despite averaging 8 yards per attempt. Achane came in relief to rush for 113 yards. He had a 63-yard touchdown run. Another 30-yard run set up a one-yard touchdown dive.

The crowd was back: Kyle Field was its old self. After enduring a year with Covid protocols that limited crowds to 25 percent capacity, the Aggies were back almost in full force. The announced crowd of 97,339 rekindled arguably the best game atmosphere in college football. The fact the majority were clad in red, white and blue T-shirts to honor America and remember the Red, White and Blue Out from 20 years ago was a wonderful bonus.

What I loathed

The announced crowd of 97,339 rekindled arguably the best game atmosphere in college football.

Five turnovers: King threw three interceptions. Backup Zach Calzada threw one. Ainias Smith fumbled a punt inside the 5-yard line that he should not have attempted to catch. Five turnovers usually equates to a loss. The Aggies could have threatened to score 60 had they been cleaner.

Run defense was vulnerable: Maybe the Aggies will miss departed linebacker Buddy Johnson and defensive tackle Bobby Brown more than we’d like to admit. Last season A&M was second in the nation against the run. Kent State had 226 rushing yards. That was more than any A&M opponent managed last season. Projected starters McKinnley Jackson, Micheal Clemons and Myles Jones did not play, so that legitimately could have been a factor. Whatever the case, that has to improve.

Kent State trying to cover the spread: Kent State was a 29.5-point underdog, a fact that apparently wasn’t lost on Golden Flashes coach Sean Lewis. Trailing by 31 points in the final four minutes, Lewis twice chose to attempt field goals. Kicker Andrew Glass shanked a 25-yard attempt with 3:18 remaining. Given another chance after an A&M interception, Lewis called time out with two seconds remaining for Glass to attempt a 24-yarder. He hit the right upright. Lewis would likely argue he was showing confidence in his kicker. Skeptics might say he was trying to help out Kent State boosters who had taken the points.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 41, Kent State 10

14,325 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 21 days ago by Sully Penny
Traveler
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Olin, youre insinuating that the KSU coach was trying to fix the final score for his boosters?

That's a pretty nasty allegation. And pretty irresponsible.

Wow.
WC94
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
If you're taking the L, you want to beat the spread, so you can give Vegas the middle finger. Standard operating procedure.
BAS65
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
That's what you do
slyfox07
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Leon made a great pick...but let's be honest

Leal was keeping pace and Demani jogged right past him with no effort at all lol
Take off your mask.
DTuba
How long do you want to ignore this user?
O'Neal was not running at full speed, he was just following Leal. He was going Leal's speed.
Traveler
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
WC94 said:

If you're taking the L, you want to beat the spread, so you can give Vegas the middle finger. Standard operating procedure.
Vegas gives 2 ****s about which side of the spread the game lands on - plenty of losers on both sides.
Gramercy Riffs
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
WC94 said:

If you're taking the L, you want to beat the spread, so you can give Vegas the middle finger. Standard operating procedure.

As a fan, maybe. As a coach? Nope.
aggiebones
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Maybe Coach knew his kicker was shakey and needed live reps.
Now he knows that he needs a new kicker.
SinKiller
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Come on, there's zero chance the KSU coach was coaching based on a betting line.

To the interceptions, Wedemeyer seemed lazy on the 1st, Chapman probably could have helped on one and the other should haven't been thrown. It'd be hard not to see that King is gonna be a good one.
Moe 92
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
aggiebones said:

Maybe Coach knew his kicker was shakey and needed live reps.
Now he knows that he needs a new kicker.


This. When you're in Kent State's shoes - completely outmanned - and the game is already in the other team's hands, you're focussed only on how to improve and get ready for conference play. Some combination of the kicker, holder, and deep snapper obviously needed some game reps.
The Agly Duckling
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Traveler said:

Olin, youre insinuating that the KSU coach was trying to fix the final score for his boosters?

That's a pretty nasty allegation. And pretty irresponsible.

Wow.
Coach Bryant did that all the time.
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.