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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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76th Speaker of the Senate Marcus Glass, left, poses with incoming 77th Speaker of the Senate Ava Blackburn.
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Justice Jenson, Senior News Reporter • April 18, 2024

The Student Government Association wrapped up its 76th session by giving out awards such as the Senator, Committee and Statesman of the Year...

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Freshman Tiago Pires reaches to return the ball during Texas A&M’s match against Arkansas on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at Mitchell Tennis Center. (Lana Cheatham/The Battalion)
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The No. 14 Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to the No. 44 LSU Tigers 4-3 in a down-to-the-wire duel on Thursday, April 18. Facing off at...

Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

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(Graphic by Ethan Mattson/The Battalion)
Opinion: ‘Fake Money,’ real change
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 19, 2024

Us Aggies live privileged existences: companies beg us to take on tens of thousands in loans.  I know this may sound contradictory, but the...

Aggies match wits with Mike Leach

 
 

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is known for running an imaginative offense. His Red Raiders spread the field like a flag football team, enabling his quarterbacks to rack up unbelievable stats. He passes when others would run. He passes when others would pass. Heck, he passes when others would punt. But, quirky as his offense may look, no one can argue with its results – Tech entered Saturday’s game against Texas A&M leading the nation with 411 passing yards per game.
So how did the Aggie defense, which has been burned often by the pass this year, manage to control the Red Raiders’ attack through three-quarters of Saturday’s 32-25 win? It’s simple, really. Aggie defensive coordinator Carl Torbush decided to put together a confusing defense to offset Tech’s confusing offense.
The Aggies changed their attack from zones to umbrella coverages and just about everything in between.
“Some of that stuff had me worried, but I had faith in the defensive coaches’ stuff and what we were going to do to stop them,” said A&M senior defensive end Mike Montgomery. “It worked out for the best, as we just put our faith in the defensive calls and just went out and tried to execute to the best of our ability.”
Last year’s 59-28 loss in Lubbock was tough on Torbush. He couldn’t do some of the things he wanted to do and was forced to drop back into zone coverages on every play. However, his faith in this year’s players allowed him to become more creative and more effective.
“No question it helped us to put more speed and athleticism on the field. That’s a factor,” Torbush said. “Right now we’re playing with a lot more confidence than we were at that time last year.”
Tech was still able to gain 411 yards on offense, but all of those yards yielded only 25 points – 12 under their average and less than half of what they put up against the Aggies last year.
The Aggies were able to limit the Red Raiders by forcing turnovers and limiting big plays. Tech senior quarterback Sonny Cumbie looked uncomfortable for much of the day, as he forced several balls into coverage, resulting in three interceptions.
“Well, we tried to mix things up and give them a lot of different looks and coverages,” Torbush said. “We did a great job and kept things in the box and confused them pretty good.”
While the Aggie defensive scheme and athleticism differed from a year ago, perhaps the biggest change was the attitude of the returning players. Veterans in the secondary, such as Jaxson Appel, Jante Buhl and Byron Jones were tired of being lit up by the Tech passing game. This was the seniors’ last game at Kyle Field, and they refused to graduate winless against the Red Raiders.
“(We were) just a little pissed off as opposed to last year,” Appel said. “We remembered the game from last year and used that as motivation going into the week and got better.”
This energy and effort was never more apparent than in overtime. Playing on tired legs, but with heightened spirit, the Aggies attacked the ball and limited Tech to one yard on four plays to seal the game.
After leaving it all on the field, the Aggies head into the bye week needing some time off. But, with the archrival Texas Longhorns looming on the horizon, the Aggies won’t have much time to rest. It will take another spirited defensive effort to meet that challenge.

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