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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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A&M comeback comes up short against Ole Miss

Photo by Ishika Samant

Sophomore RB Le’Veon Moss (8) after scoring Texas A&M’s third touchdown making the score 17-10 during Texas A&M’s game against Alabama at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Despite overcoming a double-digit second-half deficit, Texas A&M football was left disappointed on the road for the ninth-straight time.
On the final play of the game, the Aggies lined up for a 47-yard field goal for junior kicker Randy Bond to send the game to overtime. However, the kick was tipped at the line of scrimmage, coming up short and resulting in a 38-35 defeat for the Maroon and White.
The Aggies now fall to 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in conference play. Any hope of a 10-win season for A&M has now been diminished and for the third-straight season, Ole Miss got the upper hand on the Aggies.
However, that all could have been avoided.
With 4:34 left in the game, A&M took its first lead of the game after a 6-minute drive was capped off with a 2-yard rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak from redshirt sophomore Max Johnson. The Aggies led 35-31, and for the first time since Oct.16 2021, it looked like the Aggies may win on an opponent’s home turf.
Unfortunately for the Maroon and White, the defense couldn’t step up to the challenge. In under 3 minutes, the Rebels’ offense marched down the field and regained the lead that would last for the rest of the game.
It was not just then that the Aggies had a chance to reverse the story of the game. Coming out of the half, the Aggies trailed 20-14 and received the second-half kickoff.
In that first drive, Johnson led the Aggies down the field, getting them to first and goal at the Rebels’ 5-yard line. However, on the first-down play, Johnson tried to hit graduate wide receiver Ainais Smith in the endzone, but apparent miscommunication found the ball in the hands of the Ole Miss defense instead.
The ensuing drive for Ole Miss ended in a touchdown and a successful 2-point conversion try, putting the Rebels up 28-14 after it looked like the Aggies might go up 21-20. A simple mistake like that found the Maroon and White battling back the rest of the second half, rather than attempting to take control of the game.
A&M still might have lost if it weren’t for a blocked field goal in the first half by junior defensive lineman Shemar Turner, which was taken back for a touchdown from sophomore defensive back Jacoby Matthews.
The break for the Aggies was the shift in momentum they were looking for, and kept them in the game despite being outgained in yards in the first half, 299 to 134.
A&M’s poor first-half start was not ideal for a team whose offense had not scored a second-half offensive touchdown the last four games.
The Aggies flipped that script, rattling off three offensive touchdowns in the second half, but the defense just could not come up with one final stop.
The Aggies can now only hope for a strong close to the season, with the best outcome being winning out and going 9-4 with a road win at LSU. However, if that best-case scenario does not play out, the seat of coach Jimbo Fisher will be the hottest it has ever been.
A&M will look to get back in the win column next week on Saturday, Nov. 11, as they play host to Mississippi State for the final SEC game of the season at Kyle Field.

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