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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 utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

5 players to watch: A brawl between Aggies and Bulldogs

Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Freshman WR Evan Stewart (1) scores the Aggies’ first touchdown during the Southwest Classic on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

With the absence of the versatility that senior wide receiver Ainias Smith adds to the starting lineup, expect Texas A&M to have multiple shifts in the roster on both sides of the ball. On the other hand, Mississippi State heads into the match with only two underclassmen — sophomores — on its starting roster, officially making itself one of, if not the, oldest teams the Aggies will play, according to coach Jimbo Fisher.
So who do you need to keep your eye on?
Devon Achane — A&M
Through the first four weeks of college play, junior running back Devon Achane is the only player in college football to have a rushing, receiving and punt-return touchdown under his belt. Additionally, Achane leads A&M in rushing with 355 yards on 65 carries and has scored at least one touchdown in every game so far this season.
Against the Razorbacks, a team renowned for being one of the best run defenses in the country, Achane racked up 159 yards on 19 carries. Against the Bulldogs, expect Achane to continue his streak of touchdowns.
Caleb Ducking — Mississippi St.
With five touchdowns in the four games so far this season and two games with two touchdowns, senior receiver Caleb Ducking is at the top of the Bulldogs’ receiver core. In the game against Bowling Green, Ducking had seven receptions for 96 yards. With its pass-heavy offense, A&M will have to prepare for players like Ducking if they have any hope to keep the Bulldogs out of the endzone.
Antonio Johnson — A&M
Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 4 for his performance against Arkansas, junior safety Antonio Johnson’s performance so far this season suggests that he is only getting started. With 13 total tackles against Arkansas in the Southwest Classic and nine solo tackles and 15 total against Mississippi State last season, the Bulldog offense is going to have to place a large amount of focus on keeping him contained if they wish to make any big plays.
Will Rogers — Mississippi St.
Standing at second in the nation in passing yards, junior quarterback Will Rogers is known to throw the ball on 66.3% of the plays. In his last game against Bowling Green, Rogers completed 39 of 50 attempts for 409 yards. Also as the cornerstone of the Bulldog offense, he has led the team to an average of 37.25 points per game.
If the A&M defense wants to continue its streak of holding opponents to 20 points or less, then it will need to contain Rogers’ arm.
Evan Stewart — A&M
With Smith’s departure from the roster, the spotlight shifts to the freshman wide receiver Evan Stewart to step up and perform. Stewart had a standout career start, with five receptions for 57 yards against Sam Houston State. Last week against Arkansas, Stewart had his first career touchdown and had an 18-yard long catch. While the Frisco native only has been averaging 4.3 receptions per game, now that Smith is no longer catching passes, that leaves targets on the table that Stewart is likely to grab.

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