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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

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024

Burdened by Miss-cues

Bryan+Johnson+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALION%0ASophomore+Josh+Reynolds+caught+seven+passes+for+66+yards+and+two+touchdowns+in+Saturday%26%238217%3Bs+48-31+loss+to+Mississippi+State.
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION Sophomore Josh Reynolds caught seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s 48-31 loss to Mississippi State.

After marching 69 yards down the field for a touchdown on their first possession, the Aggies Air Raid offense sputtered and fell out of the sky Saturday in a 48-31 loss that was much worse than the final score would indicate.
A&M started the game calling a screen to Tra Carson, followed by Kenny Hill hitting Edward Pope on a long pass for a 29-yard gain. Hill then found Ricky Seals-Jones and Josh Reynolds on a pair of medium passes to complete an efficient touchdown drive that took just 1:41 and showed how potent A&M can be when moving the ball consistently.
However, the Bulldogs answered the bell offensively, driving 75 yards on seven plays for a touchdown of their own. After that, it was tough sledding for the Aggies on both sides of the ball.
The Aggies were plagued by dropped passes and desperately missed senior Malcome Kennedy at the slot receiver position, who missed the game due to a shoulder injury. In this offense, receivers being able to hang on to passes is critical, especially on third-and-medium plays where A&M uses four and five wide receiver sets to spread the field. A&M went 5-of-17 on third down against the Bulldogs which, to put it mildly, was a total buzzkill.
However, credit must be given to MSU across the board. Its throttling of LSU was no fluke — this team is for real, and Dak Prescott has a great shot of making the trip to New York as a Heisman finalist provided his team keeps winning. Prescott went 19 for 25 through the air for 259 yards and was a nightmare in the run game as well, rushing for 77 yards. He totaled five touchdowns, didn’t turn the ball over and made it look easy. The Bulldogs host Auburn next weekend, and if they win, they’ll be a top-two team in the country and could vie for the No. 1 spot. It wouldn’t shock me if they did.
In addition to giving the Aggie defense fits, the Bulldog defense adjusted extremely well after being run through like a hot knife through butter on their opening drive. They took away A&M’s screen game, dared the Aggies to run the ball and put a lot of pressure on Kenny Hill without blitzing. The Aggies couldn’t take advantage by hitting intermediate routes over the middle of the field and Hill had three interceptions, two of which were on him.
Overall, A&M wasn’t able to overcome poor first-half play as it did last week against Arkansas. MSU was too strong offensively to hold with a defense that continues to struggle with running quarterbacks. While the Aggies looked like a veteran squad against South Carolina despite starting a bunch of young players, the team’s youth has shown up the past two games in all three phases of the game.
While not the end of the world, I think this game showed that in college football it’s better to be old and experienced than young and talented. Mississippi State may not be the flashiest team in the country, but it has seniors all over the field, especially on defense, and they don’t make a lot of mistakes offensively.
A&M may not be the team we thought it was after week one, but there is plenty of time to right the ship and a huge opportunity to make a statement this weekend with Ole Miss coming to Kyle Field for a nighttime showdown.
Patrick Crank is a telecommunication and media studies senior and football editor for The Battalion.

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