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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Aggies aim to keep winning streak alive

Photo by FILE

The Texas A&M football team will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 18 where they will take on the 2-0 University of New Mexico Lobos. The Aggies will look to rebound after a rocky offensive game against Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 11. 

After barely scraping past Colorado with a 10-7 win on Sept. 11, Texas A&M will return to Kyle Field to make a statement against undefeated New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 18.
A&M leads the all-time series against New Mexico 4-0 and will look to continue its superiority in the upcoming matchup. In the most recent battle between the two in 2017, the Aggies dominated the Lobos with a 55-14 win.
The Aggies are in search of their first 3-0 start under head coach Jimbo Fisher, attempting to keep their 11-game winning streak alive, the second-longest active win streak in the nation. A&M’s most recent loss came at the hands of Alabama in 2020, who went on to win the national title a few months later.
The Aggies’ AP rank dropped two spots to No. 7 after last week’s nail-biter, when redshirt freshman starting quarterback Haynes King fractured his right tibia during the first quarter of the game, forcing a matchup which was far closer than most anticipated.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada had to quickly step in to fill King’s role. The Aggies’ offense struggled in the first half, trailing 7-3 at the break. Colorado led almost the entire game until Calzada threw a dime to junior running back Isaiah Spiller with 1:39 left in the fourth quarter, escaping a loss against a physical Colorado team.
Calzada will lead the Aggies as QB1 on Saturday, making this his first collegiate start. After King went down against Colorado, the Georgia native threw for 183 yards and one touchdown.
“We have a great quarterback in Zach Calzada, and I feel very comfortable with him,” Fisher said. “[Calzada] faced as much adversity in that [Colorado] game as anybody I have been around in a long time, and the way he stood up, made plays and did the things he did … that will give him the confidence to understand what kind of player he can be, which I have always thought he could be.”
Defensively, A&M played a solid game last week, with sophomore defensive back Antonio Johnson recording nine solo tackles and fifth-year senior Jayden Peevy earning the SEC Defensive Linemen of the Week title after his seven tackles and first career interception. This dominant defense held the Buffaloes to just 54 yards in the second half.
“There’s gonna be some games where offense is going to have to lean on us, and there will be [others] where we have to lean on them,” Johnson said. “We’re a family, [and] we got each other’s backs.”
New Mexico finished 2-5 in the Mountain West Conference last season. So far in 2021, the Lobos defeated both Houston Baptist, 27-17, and New Mexico State, 35-24, entering into this matchup 2-0.
Senior transfer quarterback Terry Wilson Jr. started the Lobos’ season strong, recording 556 passing yards and six touchdowns. In 2018, Wilson faced the Aggies during his time at Kentucky, ending with a 20-14 overtime win for A&M. In 2020, the transfer threw for 1,187 yards and rushed for 424 yards. However, Wilson is not the only weapon on the Lobo’s offense. A pair of running backs, freshman Aaron Dumas and senior Bobby Cole, average 4.7 yards per carry, and senior wide receiver Mannie-Logan Greene has averaged 12.9 yards per catch this season.
On the other side of the field, sophomore safety Tavian Combs leads the Lobos’ defense with nine solo and eight assisted tackles. Senior safety Patrick Peek is not far behind, with a total of 10 made this season.
Fisher spoke highly of New Mexico during Monday’s press conference.
“[New Mexico is] 2-0. Offensively … they are all over the place … you gotta be honed in to the different types of runs, options, screens [and] throws,” Fisher said. “The multiplicity of the things they do on defense is as good as anybody we will see, maybe times two.”
Fisher and the Aggies look to continue their winning streak this Saturday, Sept. 18, at Kyle Field for the first 11 a.m. kickoff of their 2021 season.

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