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

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A&M defense preserves Allen’s big first half in 30-17 win over MSU


Sophomore defensive end Myles Garrett makes a stop in the 30-17 win over Mississippi State.

It was the battle of the maroons and No. 15’s, and Texas A&M won both.
Myles Garrett, No. 15 for the Aggies, wreaked havoc all evening to fend off Dak Prescott and Mississippi State en route to a 30-17 A&M victory.
The No. 21 Bulldogs (3-2, 1-2 SEC) entered the second half trailing 24-10. In two long drives, A&M forced and recovered two fumbles.
The first came from Donovan Wilson, who now has three turnovers on the year. MSU receiver De’Runnya Wilson caught a 36-yard pass before Wilson popped it out. After the Aggies capitalized with a field goal, Myles Garrett stalled an 11-play, 72-yard MSU drive by stripping it away from Aeris Williams. On top of the forced fumble, Garrett amassed seven tackles, two of which were for a loss.
“If we play the way we are supposed to and execute the way we are supposed to with the game plan, we feel like we can take on anybody,” Garrett said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Mississippi State, Alabama, LSU, we are just trying to do our thing — playing good defense and playing good offense.”
Setting up the Bulldog deficit was Kyle Allen’s first half. The sophomore quarterback connected 19-of-26 passes for 226 yards and two scores to give his team a 14-point advantage heading into the break.
Allen’s first touchdown pass came on the opening drive of the game on 4th and goal at the one-yard line. The Arizona native scrambled to his right and connected with Ricky Seals-Jones for the score.
Seals-Jones’ night came to an end early, however, as he was ejected from targeting with 6:52 left in the second quarter. Defensive end Daeshon Hall, who garnered a sack shortly after, said the call inspired the team going forward in the game.
“When one of your brothers is taken out of the game, you want to turn the tide toward you,” Hall said. “Either I made a play or it had to be someone on the team to make a play to turn the tide. I was fortunate to make a play.”
Leading up to the ejection, Allen answered a MSU field goal with a 75-yard drive capped off by a Damion Ratley 29-yard touchdown. The score was the first by Ratley in an Aggie uniform.
On the ensuing A&M possession, Taylor Bertolet extended the A&M lead to 17-3 with 13:11 left in the half after a 55-yard field goal. The kick is the longest at Kyle Field since 1999.
Afterwards, the No. 14 Aggies (5-0, 2-0 SEC) allowed a four-play, 75-yard drive by the Bulldogs to cut it to 17-10 thanks to a Malik Dear 52-yard run with 11:33 left in the half.
Before the half ended, A&M marched down the field in 54 seconds and widened the margin to 24-10. Tra Carson punched it in from a yard out on 3rd and goal with 20 seconds to spare. Carson reached beyond the century mark for the second time this season, rushing it on 26 occasions for 113 yards.
Despite the deficit, Prescott fired back in the fourth quarter with a five-yard rushing touchdown to cut it to 27-17 with 12:24 left. But, the stingy A&M defense disallowed any possible comeback. Prescott ended the night 20-for-34 and 210 yards through the air while pounding it 18 times for 110 yards and a score on the ground.
The second quarter ejection did not slow down the Aggie receivers. Josh Reynolds caught seven balls for 141 yards, while Christian Kirk recorded 77 yards on eight grabs. Delivering it to them, Allen ended passing 25-for-41 for 322 yards and two touchdowns, while grinding out 67 yards on 12 carries.
“This team, we’ve learned from last year,” A&M center Mike Matthews said. “We understood that this was a really big game for us and we emphasized that a lot last year, at this moment, this is where we fell off. We can’t be complacent and go undefeated; we have to push on the gas.”
The win moves A&M to 5-0 for the second straight season, which has not happened since 1940-41. The Aggies bye next week will help them rest for a premiere SEC matchup against Alabama the following Saturday.
“There are a lot of things we can improve on,” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “To get to where we are right now and playing at the quality of the opponents that we’ve played and getting to a bye week, it’s important. Physically, we are going to be able to get some people back. We lost Ricky Seals-Jones for part of the game, Jeremy Tabuyo didn’t play, Speedy didn’t play, Otaro Alaka didn’t play. We’ve got some things that we can definitely improve.”

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