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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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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

A late-game touchdown seals A&M’s win over Colorado

Photo by via @AggieFootball on Twitter

Texas A&M football held the University of Colorado to 171 rushing yards.

No. 5 Texas A&M beat the University of Colorado-Boulder on the road 10-7 Saturday, Sept. 11 on a game-winning touchdown pass by Zach Calzada to Isaiah Spiller with five minutes left in the game.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Haynes King left the game early in the first quarter with an injury, but the Aggies managed to pull out a last-minute win in Denver with a strong defensive outing and some opportune scoring. A&M improves to 2-0 on the year, and Colorado falls to 1-1.
“We didn’t always play well,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said, “But we played hard, we played tough, we stayed together, we never gave up.”
A&M punted on the game’s opening possession, but the maroon and white grabbed momentum early defensively. A big hit on Colorado’s freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis by senior linebacker Aaron Hansford popped the ball up in the air, which senior defensive lineman Jayden Peevy caught on a diving interception.
However, on a third down rush that fell short of gaining a first down, King got up and limped off the field four minutes into the game. Senior placekicker Seth Small missed a potential career-long 53-yard field goal, but all eyes were on King and what the injury meant for him and the team going forward.
Colorado immediately drove 69 yards for a touchdown on the next possession and capped it off with a two-yard rushing touchdown by native-Texan and star sophomore running back Jarek Broussard.
King left for the locker room, and redshirt sophomore Zach Calzada came in to relieve him and lead the offense. King did not return to the game.
Calzada and the offense struggled to find consistency, but A&M’s defense played a strong bend-don’t-break game. The Aggies kept the Buffaloes from returning to the end zone for the rest of the game.
At the end of the half, Calzada drove the Aggies down the field, and, after a big third down pitch and catch to junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer, Small knocked in a 41-yard field goal to bring the score to 7-3 with 25 seconds left in the first half.
A&M’s defense kept up its strong performance, forcing the Buffaloes into five straight punts in the second half to help balance out the offensive inconsistencies.
“All I can do is clamp them up,” Peevy said. “I’ve got to control what I can control.”
The Aggie offense found life mid-way through the fourth, converting three straight third-down attempts and once more reaching within striking distance. On a third down in the third quarter, Calzada scrambled out of the pocket and dove into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. The call wound up getting overturned when, upon review, Calzada lost control of the ball inches before crossing the plane. Colorado had recovered the fumble and were on offense yet again. A&M’s defense stonewalled the Colorado offense, putting the ball back in Aggie control.
Calzada led his second consecutive strong drive down the field. On a third down, Calzada found junior running back Isaiah Spiller on a pass to keep the drive alive in Colorado territory. After a costly delay of game put the Aggies back into another third-and-long, Calzada and Spiller connected one last time for an 18-yard game-winning touchdown with three minutes remaining.
“That was a great pass,” Spiller said. “[Calzada] got way more comfortable.”
The A&M defense stood its ground one final time, forcing two incompletions. A third down sack by junior linebacker Andre White Jr. forced the Buffaloes into a fourth-and-long, on which the Buffaloes fell two yards short of converting.
Calzada finished the affair by completing 18-of-38 pass attempts for 183 yards and a touchdown. Despite the inconsistency, Calzada showed up late in each half and led A&M to scoring opportunities when it mattered the most.
The stars of A&M’s game, however, came on the defensive end. Sophomore defensive back Antonio Johnson was seemingly everywhere on the field, racking up nine tackles and two pass-breakups. Peevy also came up huge, racking up five solo tackles, two for a loss of yards, and the early interception.
The Aggies will face their third straight non-conference opponent next week when they take on the New Mexico Lobos at home. The game will be played Saturday, Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at Kyle Field.

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