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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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Aggies shut out Lobos in final matchup before SEC play

Photo by Photo by Ryan Hartfiel

The Texas A&M football team takes the field for the game against the University of New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 18. 

No. 7 Texas A&M hosted New Mexico at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 18, defeating the Lobos, 34-0.

The Aggies halted the Lobos’ offensive efforts, leaving the visiting team scoreless. A&M’s last shutout victory was in 2016 against Prairie View A&M.

With injured redshirt freshman quarterback Haynes King on the sidelines, redshirt sophomore Zach Calzada found his place as the Aggies’ starting quarterback, finishing with 275 yards and three touchdowns. The three-star quarterback from Georgia bounced back from last week’s Colorado game, leading the offense to roll over New Mexico.

Sophomore running back Devon Achane set up the foundation for A&M with a 26-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. To continue the excitement, Calzada launched a 70-yard rocket to redshirt freshman Demond Demas in the receiver’s first career catch as an Aggie. The maroon and white concluded the first quarter with a 14-0 lead. 

“[Demas] has got all the ability in the world,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “If we are going to be who we need to be, he needs to be a part of it.”

A&M’s passing game was commanding, driving the Aggies down the field to set up Isaiah Spiller’s 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. In addition, the Aggies’ defense did its part, only allowing 75 yards in the first half, causing the Lobos to remain scoreless at the break. Senior Seth Small kicked a 35-yard field goal to close the half, setting the score at 24-0. 

The Aggies struggled to find their rhythm in the first half against Kent State and Colorado. However, against New Mexico the scoreboard reflected the cadence and composure of the team, especially Calzada.

“[Calzada] made good decisions early [and] was relaxed,” Fisher said. “He has ability but has to continue to make the right decisions on every play.”

Extending the lead, Small’s 44-yard field goal put the Aggies up 27-0. In the third, defense remained resilient, forcing a three-and-out and a punt on the Lobos’ subsequent drives. A&M freshman wide receiver Moose Muhummed III scored his first collegiate touchdown with a 7-yard over-the-shoulder catch to widen the deficit. 

Junior defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal recorded 1.5 sacks and freshman linebacker Edgerrin Cooper caught his first career interception. With a combination of veteran leadership and young talent, the Aggies’ defense held New Mexico to 122 total yards.

There is no age limit on making plays, especially in the SEC,” Leal said. “I’m just happy for [the young players] and happy to know that they have our backs as much as we have theirs.”

Both teams went scoreless in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 34-0 win for the Aggies but a lack of a “finishing mentality.” 

“We are playing very average,” Fisher said. “We gotta grow up across the board in everything we do and play with much more consistency as a team.”
The Aggies will begin SEC play when they faceNo. 20 Arkansas at a neutral site in Dallas. The Razorbacks are ranked for the first time since 2016, fresh off a victory over Texas in Week 2. The Southwest Classic will kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 2:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium.

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