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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Aggies conquer Warhawks, finish non-conference play with 47-3 victory

Junior+WR+Jahdae+Walker+%289%29+celebrates+after+completing+a+pass+for+a+first+down+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+football+game+against+ULM+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+16%2C+2023.
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Junior WR Jahdae Walker (9) celebrates after completing a pass for a first down during Texas A&M’s football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

Another week, another rain delay.
While Texas A&M football avoided its season-opening fate from last season, the Aggies could not dodge another early-season weather delay like they had against Miami in Week 2, as storms rolled into College Station 17 minutes before kickoff against Louisiana-Monroe.
Despite the hour-long delay, the Maroon and White’s offense did not come out sluggish, as the Aggies scored in their first seven possessions and trounced the Warhawks, handing ULM its first loss of the season, 47-3.
“A very efficient day, in my opinion,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “In the phases, all three of them, offense, defense, special teams. I think we scored the first seven times we had it offensively, got good balance, managed the ball. Spread it around, made good decisions, got the ball to tight ends. Backs, receivers ran the football, protected pretty well.”
After the Aggies’ defense forced a quick three-and-out to start the game, sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman quickly drove the offense down the field. The drive was highlighted by a pass on 3rd and 9 to junior wide receiver Jahdae Walker, who reeled back to secure an underthrown ball and put the Aggies in ULM territory.
Walker, a transfer from D2 Grand Valley State, played sparingly so far on the season, only logging three catches against New Mexico. However, with star sophomore wide receiver Evan Stewart out against ULM, the Cleveland native was thrust into a larger role in Week 3.
“Jahdae has been a dog,” fifth-year wide receiver Ainias Smith said. “I remember first meeting him, it’s a crazy backstory. I was in Tampa working during the offseason. I believe last year, before last season. I was watching him work then and I’m like, ‘This guy has got energy. Where is he from, what school did he go to?’ I didn’t know. Then, I saw that he had got an offer from us, and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah? I’ve got to hit that boy up.’”
Despite the good field position, A&M could not punch it into the endzone, having to settle for a field goal from junior kicker Randy Bond to give the Aggies the early lead.
The defense forced another Warhawk punt, and the Aggies’ offense picked apart ULM on the ensuing drive. In nine plays, A&M marched down the field, with Weigman completing five passes for 64 yards. The Aggies capped off the drive with a wide-open pass to the corner of the endzone to Walker, stretching A&M’s lead to 10.
The Warhawks’ offense responded quickly to A&M’s scoring drive however, as senior ULM quarterback Jiya Wright broke free from pressure against the A&M defensive line, scrambling for 51 yards into the Aggies’ side of the field. A holding penalty pushed the play back 10 yards, but the Warhawks immediately followed with a 37-yard completion to senior wide receiver Tyrone Howell. Despite the field position, ULM had to settle for 3.
For the second-straight drive, the Maroon and White would not be denied paydirt. Weigman found Smith open over the middle of the field for 32 yards to get into Warhawk territory, and capped off the drive with a 19-yard scramble into the endzone, going up, 17-3.

A&M tacked on 10 more points before the half off of another field goal and a 4-yard touchdown run from junior running back Amari Daniels, going into halftime with a resounding 27-3 lead.
The Warhawks came into today’s game ranked seventh in the country in rushing offense, averaging 246 yards per game. After one half, the Maroon and White held ULM to just 64 yards rushing. Outside of the one scoring drive, the Warhawks could not find any offensive rhythm.
Weigman continued his hot start to the season, going 19-23 with 287 yards and a touchdown. Walker and Smith caught a combined 227 of those yards, becoming the first pair of Aggie wide receivers to both catch for over 100 yards in a game since 2018, all in the first half alone.
“Some of our young receivers got some nice balls,” Fisher said. “Jahdae Walker had a really nice day on the day. It was great to see us get the ball into [Smith’s] hands a lot more this week.”
After an opening field goal and then another forced three-and-out, the Aggies found the endzone once again. From its own 40, A&M fed the ball to freshman running back Reuben Owens, who ran for 34 on the drive, capping off the drive with a 21-yard touchdown scamper.
Weigman’s day was done after this drive, with the Bridgeland native finishing with 337 passing yards and one touchdown.
“Man, there’s a lot of things I can say about C-Weig,” Smith said. “I feel like his growth has shown up more in his leadership. I always talk about how he is as a leader. He has definitely grown up a lot.”
A&M tacked on another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, as sophomore quarterback Max Johnson floated a pass to the back of the endzone to freshman wide receiver Raymond Cottrell, ballooning the score to 44-3. Bond tacked on one more field goal, pushing the final score to 47-3.
The Maroon and White defense stifled the Warhawks all day, holding them to just 222 yards of total offense and 6-17 passing. The Aggies also held ULM to 1-12 on third down.
“I think we did a great job just doing our assignments this week,” junior defensive lineman Fadil Diggs said.
Offensively, A&M continued to shine under new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino, amassing 557 total yards. A&M had three running backs with over 30 yards in sophomore Le’veon Moss, Owens and Daniels.
“I like [running back by committee],” Fisher said. “Again, some guys will get hot at times. Good to get the reps early in the season. For guys to get quality reps or picking up blitzes or catching. Also, they’re carrying, but they’re catching balls out of the backfield. They all caught balls out of the backfield, we’re doing a good job there. As you know, that position is a physical position, and you’ve got to have numbers there to get through the season, especially in the SEC.”
The Aggies will open up conference play next week at home against the Auburn Tigers at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m.
“I definitely feel like we’re ready [going into conference play],” sophomore defensive back Bryce Anderson said. “Like I said, as long as we prepare the right way, Monday through Friday, I feel like there’s no team in the nation that can play with us.”
 

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