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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: One of two undefeated in SEC West

Mississippi+State-+Josh+Reynolds
Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
Mississippi State- Josh Reynolds

In its 30-17 win over Mississippi State on Saturday, A&M looked solid in nearly every facet of the game, and effectively shutdown any hope for the Bulldogs in the first half. Here’s an in-depth look at how each unit performed.

Quarterback

There was no Kyler Murray on Saturday, just Kyle Allen — and he lit the Bulldogs up through the air. Allen threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns in the 30-17 win. For a sophomore, Allen’s maturity is off the charts, and his ability to step up in the pocket and deliver an accurate throw makes him one of the best at the position in the SEC. Also, his legs and ability to run gives the Aggies another realm of attack on offense. 

Running back

The rushing attack finally got moving after totaling just 65 yards against Arkansas. They put up 194 yards on the ground against MSU on Saturday, with Tra Carson going over the 100-yard mark and  one touchdown. Carson handled much of the load on the night, but with a passing game like A&M’s, Carson does not have to go out and win the game for the Aggies every week. 

Wide receiver

Seven different Aggies made a reception, and Josh Reynolds pulled in 141 yards in the game, which led the team. Damion Ratley and Ricky Seals-Jones — who was ejected in the second quarter — both hauled in a touchdown pass, and all night long, the receivers found their places in the zone coverage and let Allen do the rest. 

Offensive line

The front for A&M allowed only one sack and helped the Aggies amass nearly 200 yards on the ground. With the protection, Kyle Allen had nice pockets to throw and step into. 

Defensive line

Myles Garrett, Daeshon Hall and Julien Obioha made Dak Prescott and the MSU backfields’ life a nightmare for most of the game. Hall and Garrett combined for two sacks and four tackles for loss in the game, and they put pressure on Prescott all night.  This is the best unit in the country by far.

Linebackers

A.J. Hilliard and Shaan Washington were the mainstays, but there is definite room for improvement. They played well, but their ability to stop the run needs to be addressed more in the coming weeks, especially against Alabama. 

Secondary

The years of A&M having a poor secondary seem to be over. They were impressive in the win, holding Dak Prescott to just over 200 yards passing. Donovan Wilson seems to be a version of the “Honey Badger” on the Aggie defense, forcing a fumble on his way to an impressive night. 

Special teams

Drew Kaser was great in the punting game, which put the Bulldogs in some unfavorable field position often. Taylor Bertolet was consistent in the kicking game, hitting two of his three field goals on the night, one of which was the longest in Kyle Field since 1999 at 55 yards. The kickoff coverage was very good, and overall, the special teams unit won the field position battle with Mississippi State.

Overall

It was a statement win for A&M, and its first win over a top 25 team at Kyle Field since 2011. The defense shut down the Bulldog offense, and the Aggie offense was able to expose the Mississippi State defense and run up 516 total yards on the night. A&M now sits in a first-place tie with LSU atop the SEC West, and will have a bye week before a heavyweight matchup against Alabama.

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  • Mississippi State- Kyle Allen

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
  • Mississippi State- Tra Carson

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
  • Tra Carson ran for 2,075 yards in three seasons at Texas A&M after transferring from Oregon.

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
  • Mississippi State

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
  • Mississippi State- Kyle Allen

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
  • Mississippi State- Kyle Allen

    Photo by Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
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