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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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8 players to look for during A&M-Sam Houston

Freshman+WR+Evan+Stewart+%281%29+celebrates+in+Kyle+Field+on+April+9%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

Freshman WR Evan Stewart (1) celebrates in Kyle Field on April 9, 2022.

Saturday’s, Sept. 3, matchup between Texas A&M and Sam Houston State opens the season for both teams. Last season, A&M finished 8-4 while Sam Houston went 11-1 with its only loss being in the Football Championship Subdivision, or FCS, playoff quarterfinals to Montana State. Saturday marks the 13th matchup between the two teams with A&M winning the previous 12 matchups.
Here are eight players to look for in the matchup:
Evan Stewart — Texas A&M
The last impact wide receiver to play for A&M was Christian Kirk. The Aggies have had some talented players, but none that could break a defense’s gameplan. The hope is for freshman 5-star receiver Evan Stewart to fill that role for the maroon and white with the expectation that he will play immediately, and the A&M offense needs a big season out of him. Having a talented receiver is a requirement for success in college football. Prime examples of this are Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson at LSU in 2019. Stewart is expected to be featured heavily in Saturday’s game.
Jordan Yates or Keegan Shoemaker — Sam Houston
Sam Houston has yet to officially name a starting quarterback after national championship-winning quarterback Eric Schmid left to pursue professional football. Smart money would say the starter would be last year’s backup quarterback Keegan Shoemaker. The junior stepped in for an injured Schmid and led Sam Houston to a comeback victory over its archrival Stephen F. Austin. However, don’t be shocked if sophomore Georgia Tech transfer Jordan Yates gets the starting opportunity. Sam Houston plays at a very quick tempo and have had the luxury of having talented quarterbacks the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see how the new quarterback performs against a strong A&M defense.
Amari Daniels — Texas A&M
It’s safe to assume, barring injury, junior starting running back Devon Achane will have a lot of success in Saturday’s game and the season in general. The backup role is more of a tossup. A&M coach Jimbo Fisher had a lot of success last year using Achane to spell starter Isaiah Spiller. If Fisher adopts a similar approach this season to reduce Achane’s workload, look for sophomore running back Amari Daniels to get the snaps. Last season, Daniels tallied 109 yards at a clip of six yards per carry. However, Daniels is a similar type of running back to Achane. If Fisher were to look for more of a power back, he could give snaps to redshirt freshman running back L.J. Johnson. No matter what, Saturday should show what the future of A&M’s backfield will be if Achane was to leave for the NFL Draft after this season.
Cody Chrest and Ife Adeyi — Sam Houston
As stated earlier, Sam Houston will have a new quarterback under center this season. It helps that the Bearkats are returning a couple of capable pass-catchers in graduate Cody Chrest and junior Ife Adeyi. Especially look for Adeyi to be featured prominently because of the graduation of standout receiver Jequez Ezzard. Chrest is also a dependable receiver with a championship pedigree that any offense would love to boast. If Sam Houston’s offense is going to have success against A&M’s defense, expect these two players to have big games on Saturday at Kyle Field.
Demani Richardson — Texas A&M
One would assume senior safety Demani Richardson is the player to fill the leadership void left by safety Leon O’Neal in A&M’s secondary. The matchup this week is because of Sam Houston’s tempo and will require strong open-field tackling from A&M’s secondary. Richardson could be in for a big game against a Sam Houston offense that relies on its speed and getting skill players into the open field. If Richardson and the rest of the secondary struggle with tackling, Saturday’s game could be closer than expected.
Markel Perry — Sam Houston
Perry, in 11 games played last season, finished in the top 10 last season in the FCS with 15 tackles for loss. Pressuring sophomore starting quarterback Haynes King should be the game plan for Sam Houston’s defense, and A&M could be susceptible in the trenches with a couple of new faces on the offensive line. Keeping Perry and the rest of the Sam Houston defensive line contained would make life easier for King.

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