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

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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5 takeaways from Monday’s football press conference

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Junior wide receiver Ainias Smith currently leads Texas A&M in receiving yards and has proven his ability to be a playmaker when he has possession of the ball. 

Following another Texas A&M football win, the good news continued as A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher denied all LSU coaching rumors and displayed his love for the Aggies.
Fisher and his players met with the media to discuss the 35-14 win over Missouri on the road and A&M’s upcoming SEC matchup. On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Aggies will host unranked South Carolina in another night game at Kyle Field.
Here’s what we learned:
Fisher “ain’t done yet”
In a crazy year of college football, Louisiana State University sits at a 4-3 record and has mutually agreed to part ways with national championship winning head coach Ed Orgeron. Quickly after the news was announced, many rumors began to stir up that Fisher could be a contender for the head coach position at LSU. At Monday’s press conference, Fisher swiftly shut down all rumors and said A&M is where he plans to stay.
“I love being here. This is the job I wanted,” Fisher said. “There is nothing going on there. I love A&M, and I plan on being here and fulfilling my whole contract.”
Locked in
In the past couple weeks, Fisher has placed an emphasis on his players turning off social media and focusing on the task at hand — the upcoming game. After the losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State, redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada’s name was heavily criticized on Twitter, then praised after his standout performance topping Alabama.
Fisher said he told his players to turn off social media, adding that he has never paid attention to online chatter.
“[Ignoring social media] eliminates clutter,” Fisher said. “It makes a big difference [turning it off], and I think it has helped us.”
Importance of turnovers
It is no question A&M’s defense has played quality games all season, but one aspect lacking has been its ability to create turnovers. Prior to Missouri, the Aggies picked up five interceptions and one fumble recovery, leaving it up to third and fourth down stops to get the ball back. Against Missouri, the pair of sophomore defensive backs Jaylon Jones and Antonio Johnson each grabbed a pick. Pressure from junior defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal and graduate defensive end Micheal Clemons caused Missouri’s redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Bazelak to launch off quick passes straight into the hands of A&M defenders.
Leal said the defensive line plays a big part in creating turnovers.
“[It’s about] getting after the ball and giving pressure to the QB,” Leal said. “Making him have those bad throws … that’s what we do.”
“Third down guy”
In addition to A&M’s powerful running core, junior wide receiver Ainias Smith displays his talents when the ball is put in his hands. Smith’s history playing running back gave him a great understanding of the playbook and how to see the field in a different view. Although Calzada and Smith were not able to take first team reps together at the beginning of the season, the connection between the two has sparked. Smith leads A&M’s passing offense with 319 receiving yards and averages 11 yards per catch. He said he knows Calzada can always rely on him to make plays.
“When we are on the sideline, we are always communicating, trying to see what happened and where his eyes were,” Smith said. “I would give him a nudge and say, ‘Hey man, you know you can always count on me.’ Third down comes around and I always tell him that, ‘I am that third down guy. If you are looking for someone, you can always find me.’”
Green’s red-letter moment
Junior offensive lineman Kenyon Green was named Week 7 SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and reflected the offensive line’s performance as a whole against Missouri. It was apparent that the line struggled to create holes and block in the first five games until their breakout game against Alabama. Since then, Green has led the young offensive front and proved his willingness as a player to do what is best for the team, by learning all positions up front. Against the Tigers, he aided in opening gaps for his star running backs, junior Isaiah Spiller and sophomore Devon Achane, who combined for nearly 300 rushing yards. Additionally, the three-year starter was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the week in the season opener against Kent State and plays a huge role in A&M’s recent offensive success.
“I am very proud of our team,” Fisher said. “I thought the front guys did an excellent job, for the most part of being physical.”

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