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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 offense readies for Rebel defense

Photo by Ishika Samant

Sophomore QB Haynes King (13) slips away from Alabama DB Will Anderson Jr. (31) during a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Texas A&M football’s offensive struggles have been one of the main reasons the team finds itself 3-4 and on a three-game losing streak. Luckily for A&M, there is still time to salvage its season and build momentum for the future.

 Up next for the Aggies is a home matchup against the No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m. The game presents an opportunity for the maroon and white, as the Rebels’ defense gave up 45 points in a loss to LSU last week.

In regard to last week, Aggies’ coach Jimbo Fisher said A&M’s offense played well in spurts but was unable to do enough to defeat South Carolina on the road.

“We’re moving the ball much better offensively, [but we have] to play more consistent,” Fisher said. “Got some guys banged and got to get some chemistry, ran the ball really well in the first half, second half not as much, didn’t get the running game going. It was like four guys on, one guy off … We couldn’t get it going.”

Most importantly, Fisher said A&M needs to keep the pedal to the metal on offense and get the ball to its most explosive players.

“Keep staying aggressive,” Fisher said. “We had some shots [against South Carolina] that we didn’t get off and had some guys down there open. We’ve got to stay aggressive, we’ve got to get the ball to the playmakers, guys who get touches that can make guys miss and score, like [junior running back Devon] Achane … The thing we’re going to do is stay aggressive.”

Despite the loss, Fisher was pleased with the way both of A&M’s quarterbacks, sophomore Haynes King and freshman Conner Weigman, performed against South Carolina.

“I’ll tell you what, if you go back and watch Haynes [King], he played [a] very good football game,” Fisher said. “A lot of good throws put us in great positions, had good runs, scrambled, did get some pressure on third downs and made some good third-down throws, [and] led us on some really nice drives. He played a very solid football game and made some really big-time plays. Conner [Weigman] went [in] and did a really nice job. He’s worked his butt off every week. He understands what we’re doing.”

One of the real assets for A&M has been the reliability of newly promoted sophomore kicker Randy Bond. With all the issues with A&M’s offense, Bond’s ability to make field goals has kept the team in games. Bond made three field goals in A&M’s loss to South Carolina.

Bond made sure to be ready if his number was called to start for the maroon and white.

“I was just preparing all week to start like I do every week,” Bond said. “It just came Friday that, ‘Hey, you’re going to be playing this week.’ So I just took confidence from that, went out, did what I could in the game.”

For Ole Miss, its defense has struggled throughout this season. Even before last week’s loss to LSU, Ole Miss gave up 34 points to Auburn at the bottom of the SEC West.

Rebels’ coach Lane Kiffin attributes Ole Miss’ defensive issue to injuries and missed tackles. Kiffin specifically mentioned missing junior defensive lineman Cedric Johnson and senior linebacker Troy Brown. 

“We’ve got to tackle better,” Kiffin said. “Certainly hasn’t helped [with junior defensive end] Cedric Johnson not being available at all two weeks ago and being very limited. He tried to play but wasn’t himself. Then [senior linebacker] Troy Brown in both games [had] to come out due to injuries. Those are two really significant players. We’ve got to tackle better and limit explosive plays, which is what we had done really well early in the year.”

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About the Contributor
Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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