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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 35, Missouri 14

October 17, 2021
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Texas A&M’s 35-14 college football victory over Missouri on Saturday was largely without suspense.

The Aggies led from the outset, controlled play for the most part and were never in serious jeopardy.

The running game was overpowering. The passing game was effective. The defense was solid.

A&M improved to 5-2 and continues to trend upward with South Carolina coming to Kyle Field next week.

Here’s a glance at what was learned, loved and loathed from A&M’s fifth victory.

What I learned

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
The Ags showcased their most dominant rushing performance of the year so far on Saturday. 

There was no Alabama hangover: Teams can come out flat after a big victory. That wasn’t the case for A&M. The Aggies followed up their 41-38 upset of Alabama by controlling play from the outset. Not every possession was successful. Not every Missouri series was thwarted. But overall, the Aggies were in command. The 21-point margin of victory easily could have been more lopsided.

Fast starts are becoming a tradition: If it happens twice it’s a tradition, right? The Aggies showed their 17-7 start against Alabama wasn’t a fluke. They scored the first three times they had the football to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

A&M likely climbs in the polls: Look for the Aggies to move up about four spots in the next Associated Press poll. A&M was ranked No. 21 last week with a 4-2 record. A&M’s  35-14 SEC victory on the road combined with losses by No. 17 Arkansas, No. 18 Arizona State, No. 16 BYU and No. 20 Florida should have the Aggies on the cusp of the Top 15.

What I loved

A&M’s running game: The Aggies exploited Missouri’s vulnerable run defense by rushing for 283 yards. A&M averaged 6.7 yards per carry. Isaiah Spiller (168) and Devon Achane (124) both exceeded 100 rushing yards. Spiller had a 48-yard touchdown run in which he juked Missouri safety Jaylon Carlies out of his shoes (not literally).

The Calzada-Smith passing combination: Zach Calzada and Ainias Smith hooked up just three times but all three were productive. Smith caught touchdown passes for two and 11 yards in the first half. Then, late in the third quarter with Missouri trying to mount a rally, Calzada threw probably his best pass of the day to hit Smith for 21 yards on third-and-17. Six plays later the Aggies scored a clinching touchdown for a 35-14 lead. Calzada and Smith have connected on four touchdown passes in the past two games.

Interceptions: Who doesn’t love to get interceptions? Jaylon Jones intercepted a Connor Bazelak pass on the sixth play of the game and returned 17 yards to the Missouri 22-yard line. That set up a touchdown that gave A&M a quick 7-0 lead. Antonio Johnson picked off Bazelak on the fourth play of the second quarter to put the Aggies at the Missouri 30. A&M was unable to convert that turnover into points. It was still significant tough. Johnson is from East St. Louis, Ilinois and had approximately 60 friends and family members in attendance to see him get his first career pick.

What I loathed

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
A&M’s two interceptions against the Tigers bring the season total to seven. 

Interceptions: They’re not nearly as fun when your team throws them. The Aggies seemed on the verge of taking a 35-7 halftime lead. They had first down at the Missouri 28-yard line and just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. Though A&M was gouging the Tigers’ soft run defense, coach Jimbo Fisher called a pass play. It was a good call. Achane was open near the end zone, but Calzada’s pass was underthrown, allowing Carlies to cut in front and make the pick. Calzada has thrown one interception in each of the past four games.

Missed opportunities: The Calzada interception wasn’t the Aggies’ only missed scoring opportunity. A holding penalty thwarted A&M’s fourth possession. Instead of another touchdown, the Aggies had to settle for a 54-yard field goal attempt by Seth Small. The kick was much too short. Small also had a 46-yard try that came up short. Also, early in the third quarter Missouri was backed up on its own three-yard line. A three-and-out would have provided A&M with outstanding field position. Instead, Missouri drove 97 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown.

Pass interference penalties: True, some of the PI’s called against A&M might have been… let’s say… questionable. Still, they were called and were significant. A pass interference call on Edgerrin Cooper nullified a Leon O’Neal interception in Missouri’s end of the field. A pass interference call on Jaylon Jones gave the Tigers first down at the A&M 32-yard line. Missouri’s Tyler Badie ran for a touchdown on the next play. Another call on Jones occurred on fourth-and-seven. That resulted in Missouri’s final touchdown.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 35, Missouri 14

8,909 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by buglerank06
AgGermany
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AG
What happened to Seth Short, I mean Seth Small? Love the guy, but he is not kicking with the same velocity that had the game winner against the Gumps...
aggiedrjdub
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AG
AgGermany said:

What happened to Seth Short, I mean Seth Small? Love the guy, but he is not kicking with the same velocity that had the game winner against the Gumps...


First was a 53-54 yard attempt. Straight down the gut just short. Second was a miffed hold and he did the best he could. Still true. Just short.
Gig'em Aggies! c/o '98 W H O O P!
Meximan
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Radio guys thought the long kick got tipped just slightly
buglerank06
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AG
I thought Caden Davis was technically the long FG guy? I know trust is a huge deal between kickers and the rest of the team / HC but if Davis is booming kickoffs out the endzone consistently then let him deal with any FG attempts 50+
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