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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 survive close call from Nicholls State, 24-14

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Jake Hubenak completed 12-of-15 passes for 93 yards in Saturday’s win over Nicholls State. 

It wasn’t easy and it sure wasn’t pretty, but Texas A&M found a way to outlast Nicholls State in a 24-14 victory Saturday night in front of 100,276 fans at Kyle Field.
After the Colonels scored 14 unanswered points to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, Jake Hubenak came off the bench to engineer two scoring drives in the last eight minutes of the game to put the Aggies in the win column for the first time this season.
“Getting the win is always good — it doesn’t matter whether it’s ugly or not,” safety Armani Watts said after the game. “As long as you come out with the W that’s all that matters.”
The Aggies drew first blood as Kellen Mond operated an efficient eight-play, 79-yard opening drive, culminating with a 27-yard touchdown strike to Christian Kirk on a play-action pass.
Trayveon Williams put the Aggies ahead 14-0 with a 17-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, but then the offense stalled. A&M punted on each of its next five drives and then missed a field goal on the sixth.
“Offensively, we would have liked to put more points on the board,” said wide receiver Christian Kirk, who caught six passes for a team-leading 47 yards. “But a win’s a win.”
Hubenak relieved Mond with 9:44 left in the third and, after two quick first downs it appeared the Aggies would get on the board, but an offensive pass interference call wiped out a 42-yard Damion Ratley reception and they had to punt.
“It’s not always easy changing quarterbacks,” Hubenak said, “but I thought the guys did a great job responding to it.”
After a 14-play A&M drive ended with a missed field goal, Nicholls State embarked on its lone touchdown drive of the game. Quarterback Chase Fourcade completed a 66-yard pass to his favorite target Damion Jeanpiere Jr. to get the Colonels in the red zone, and Fourcade found Stephen LeBouef two plays later with a five-yard score.
Fourcade hit Mason Roberts moments later with a two-point conversion pass that knotted the score at 14.
Hubenak, however, responded by taking the Aggies on an extended 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the ensuing possession to go ahead for good.
“I think the biggest takeaway from this game is the fact that we finished,” Kirk said. “We went into halftime — it was close — and then they tied up the game. We could’ve easily said in our minds, ‘Oh, it’s happening again,’ but we all locked in as a team and went out there and finished.”
In all, Hubenak completed 12-of-15 passes for 93 yards, while Mond was 12-of-21 for 105 yards.
Sophomore running back Kendall Bussey was huge for the Aggies down the stretch, rushing for 97 yards on 15 carries with the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth.
“Kendall is a guy that has been around here and has really waited his time,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “I think what you saw tonight was a guy that had his opportunity and did the most with it. It was very, very positive for him and very positive for this football team.”
With the strong finish, the Aggies outgained the Colonels 393-338. Sumlin’s squad will now begin preparation for next Saturday’s home contest against Louisiana Lafayette. 

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