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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 Survives ULM: 21-16

Earning bowl eligibility for the sixth consecutive year, Texas A&M downed the University of Louisiana at Monroe 21-16 at Kyle Field Saturday. Despite being out-gained 347-243 by the Warhawks in total yards, the Aggies survived and improved to 6-3 on the year.
“A win is a win,” said junior defensive end Julien Obioha. “Coach Sumlin put it perfectly — ‘120 teams played or will play today and there’s going to be 60 winners and 60 losers,’ so a win is a win.”
Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill was suspended for two games prior to game time, and freshmen Kyle Allen earned the first start of his career finishing 13 of 28 with 106 yards and an interception.
“Kyle got put through a lot of unique situations throughout that entire game,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “For his first start I thought he did pretty good. He needs to keep getting better and there’s a lot of things to learn from. The thing that I’ve seen about Kyle since day one — he keeps getting better.”
A&M scored on their opening drive, going 75 yards on 13 plays as Brandon Williams found the end zone on a 1-yard run. However, the next four Aggie drives would result in an interception and a trio of punts, allowing ULM to tie the game at 7-7 after A&M’s defense gave up an eight play, 90-yard touchdown drive.
Mid way through the second quarter, freshman Speedy Noil returned a punt 39 yards to the ULM 12 yard line, allowing A&M to complete a short touchdown drive capped by a field-reversing run by Tra Carson that reminded fans of Johnny Manziel, giving the Aggies the 14-7 advantage.
“First of all, I missed the read,” Carson said. “I went front-side and I was running out of surface, and I just so happened to glance back and there was a lot of green grass over there, so I just ran that way.”
With a minute before the half, Kyle Allen threw deep to Noil on fourth-and-inches on a free play due to an offsides penalty. The ball deflected off of the ULM defender, but Noil hung in to make the catch — a 39-yarder that put A&M up 21-7.
To finish the half, the Warhawks kicked a 51-yard field goal to make the score 21-10.
Neither team added to the score again until the fourth quarter, as ULM opened the frame with a 23-yard field goal to cut the deficit to just eight. On the ensuing Aggie possession, Allen was sacked and stripped on the first play, giving the Warhawks the ball on the A&M 38. ULM converted two fourth downs on the drive, but was forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal to make the score 21-16.
Neither team would score again, and though the Aggies gave the ULM the ball with just over two minutes left in the game, A&M’s defense forced a turnover on downs that sealed the win.
“I think this game was won a week ago in the off week,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “From my standpoint, two or three weeks ago, I don’t know that we win this game. I think today we played a lot of new faces. I think you saw a lot of freshmen, a lot of new guys who hadn’t been on the field play a substantial amount of time. They can gain confidence from their play and any time you win, you always leave the field feeling better, and these guys feel that way.”
The Aggies will travel to Auburn, Ala. next weekend to face the defending SEC Champion Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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