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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

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5 takeaways from A&M’s 52-3 win over Prairie View

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Junior running back Isaiah Spiller will look to join the 1000-yard season club during the Saturday, Nov. 27 game against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, La. 

Saturday proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the Texas A&M football team.

The Aggies handedly took down the Panthers of Prairie View A&M by a score of 52-3 on Saturday, Nov. 20. A&M dominated for the entirety of the game, marking a stark contrast to the Aggies’ previous 29-19 loss to Ole Miss on the road. 

Here are five takeaways from the matchup:

Leaving Kyle

Saturday’s contest doubled as Senior Day at Kyle Field, as 15 seniors and graduate students were honored on the field before their final game at home. Such seniors included graduate defensive lineman Jayden Peevy, senior place-kicker Seth Small and senior defensive back Leon O’Neal Jr. 

With an occasion like Senior Day comes plenty of emotion, but the players discussed the importance of staying level-headed and keeping their minds focused on the game at hand. 

“It’s a surreal feeling to be a part of Texas A&M University, and I love this school with all my heart,” O’Neal said. “But you’ve got to focus. You’ve got a job to do. You’ve got to work as a professional every single day and be the same person.”

Newcomers defy expectations

Freshman wide receiver Moose Muhammad III and freshman running back Amari Daniels showcased new and unseen sides of their athletic prowess, giving A&M fans a potential taste of what’s to come for the Aggies’ offense. Muhammad tallied 77 yards on five catches with two touchdowns, while Daniels collected a team-high 70 yards on the ground and a touchdown on eight carries, good for 8.8 yards per carry. 

Small discussed his happiness with the performance of the rookies, touching on the impact both players can have in the future. 

“It’s very encouraging to see those guys come out and play,” Small said. “Who knows what’s going to happen? I just know that the culture that’s being built here is going to breed something special.”

Backups take spotlight

Staying on the subject, Saturday’s smear of the Panthers allowed a multitude of Aggies to take the field for the first time this season. Bringing in the second-team offense and defense takes weight off the shoulders of the team’s starters, giving them time to rest in preparation for next weekend’s away matchup versus LSU. Notable players highlighted by A&M coach Jimbo Fisher include freshman wide receiver Yulkeith Brown, freshman tight end Blake Smith and freshman running back L.J. Johnson Jr. 

“I’ll tell you what, it doesn’t surprise me [to see them succeed],” Fisher said. “I watch them every day. Those guys are good players. I was very proud of those guys and the efficiency they played with.”

New all-time scorer

Not only did Small’s field goal early in the second quarter boost the Aggies’ lead to 24-0, but it also cemented the senior place-kicker’s place atop the A&M record books as the maroon and white’s all-time leading scorer. Small and his 70 career field goals passed the record set by Randy Bullock, the 2011 Lou Groza Award winner, for first place on the scoring list with 371 points.

When talking about his achievement, Small made sure to give credit to his teammates, noting the accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without them.

“It’s been so sweet to break a couple of records here at Kyle Field and to share it with my teammates and the 12th Man,” Small said. “To be honest, I don’t feel any different, but it’s a very cool feeling. I need to send out a big thank you to Connor [Choate], to Nik [Constantinou], to Braeden [Kobza] … because, without them, I wouldn’t be able to do my job at the level that we’re capable of doing it.”

Focusing on today

Despite entering Saturday’s contest as 42-point favorites, the Aggies showed no signs of taking their opponent lightly. While some teams may be inclined to look ahead to more daunting matchups — in this case, the Aggies’ game at LSU — A&M never took its focus off the Panthers. The Aggies played consistently from start to finish, never taking their foot off the gas until inserting the backups into play. 

O’Neal touched on this concept after the game as he discussed how the Aggies must keep their eyes on their current opponent and the task at hand. 

“We didn’t look ahead to LSU and just overlook [Prairie View]. That’s not how we do things around here,” O’Neal said. “That’s just what it is about college football. You can’t ever underestimate anybody because they’ve got a dream just like you’ve got a dream.”

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