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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies find offensive improvement against Arkansas

Ainias+Smith%26%23160%3Bcelebrates+with+his+fellow+players+after+completing+the+first+touchdown+of+the+game+for+the+Aggies.%26%23160%3B%26%23160%3B
Photo by Olivia Treadwell

Ainias Smith celebrates with his fellow players after completing the first touchdown of the game for the Aggies.  

ARLINGTON, Texas — No. 23 Texas A&M and Arkansas both went into Saturday’s Southwest Classic game with something to prove.
After falling in their first Southeastern Conference game against No. 7 Auburn, the Aggies needed to find an offensive identity as both the pass and run game struggled in the matchup against the Tigers.
Following a 31-24 loss to San Jose State, Arkansas entered AT&T Stadium looking to find some confidence on both sides of the ball after the Razorbacks’ defense allowed 503 yards and quarterback Nick Starkel threw five interceptions against the Spartans.
A&M was slightly successful in its mission, as the Aggies topped the Razorbacks 31-27, finding early success with the quick start they had been searching for.
Though it didn’t end in points, the Aggies got their footing with 24 yards on their first two plays. However, a sack followed on A&M’s third play of the game, and the Aggies lost the momentum they had garnered as an incomplete pass and a punt followed.
The Aggies turned things around on the second drive though, as A&M marched 63 yards on seven plays, capping off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Ainias Smith.
Smith was a key part of A&M’s offensive success, totaling 80 yards on five receptions and a 31-yard punt return.
“He brings exposure to the offense,” junior wide receiver Quartney Davis said. “He can make plays, catch the ball, get open. He’s physical. A lot of people say he’s small, but he’s a really physical guy. He gets the job done for sure.”
The Aggies had success passing as Mond was 6-of-7 for 55 yards in the first quarter. The run game took longer to find a rhythm, with only 25 yards in the first quarter.
“Offensively, [we] started out extremely well, moving the football up and down the field,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Kellen was really sharp. Didn’t get the running game going in the first half.”
A&M’s first-quarter momentum rolled over into the second quarter as the Aggies scored on two of their four drives.
Mond said the Aggies’ fast-paced first quarter helped them win the game.
“It was a little bit faster than normal, and I felt like the plays were pretty similar to what they usually are,” Mond said. “Just me and the receivers and everybody else just trying to push the tempo, getting lined up a little bit quicker. I felt like that helped us out a little bit on the offensive side.”
Leading 21-17 at halftime, the Aggies managed to avoid Arkansas’ third-quarter comeback, scoring 10 more points to seal the win. Fisher said he is proud of the way the team fought to earn the win.
”There was a lot of resilience,” Fisher said. “There was a lot of competitiveness. That’s where we’ve been. An SEC win is an SEC win. There’s no bad wins.”
Despite the final score, the Aggies continued to struggle offensively, though not as badly as they did against No. 1 Clemson and then-No. 8 Auburn.
Two key plays highlighted the Aggies’ offensive troubles.
A fumble on A&M’s six-yard line allowed Arkansas to score, and an interception in the end zone ended what was likely a scoring drive for A&M.
“[Mond] made a bad decision in the red zone, just throwing it away,” Fisher said.
Davis said when turnovers happen, the team just focuses on correcting the mistakes.
“Every time we have a mistake, we talk about it on the sidelines and move on to the next drive and make sure we do everything we need to do to get into the end zone,” Davis said. “Obviously we don’t want those turnovers, but things happen. We just move on.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *