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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Auburn QB Stidham stellar in return to Texas

Auburn+quarterback+and+Stephenville+native+Jarrett+Stidham+was+20-of-27+for+268+yards+and+three+touchdowns+in+the+Tigers+42-27+win+over+Texas+A%26amp%3BM.
Photo by By Hanna Hausman

Auburn quarterback and Stephenville native Jarrett Stidham was 20-of-27 for 268 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 42-27 win over Texas A&M.

Multiple times last fall, Jarrett Stidham stood in the stands at Kyle Field as a perspective Aggie after transferring from Baylor.
Aggieland never came calling for the 6-foot-3 quarterback though, who showed signs of brilliance during his time at Baylor. Instead, he packed up for East Alabama to play for the Auburn Tigers.
In his first trip back to the Lone Star State, Stidham was stellar in Auburn’s 42-27 win over Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Kyle Field. He finished the day 20-of-27 for 268 yards and threw three touchdowns, averaging an astounding 13.4 yards per completion.
“Obviously I’ve had this one circled for a while,” Stidham said. “Anytime I get to come home being so far away it’s exciting for me and for my family and friends that I get to see, so it was great and ultimately we got the win which is the most important thing.”
What could have been here in College Station for Stidham remains an unknown mystery, but the Stephenville native said he kept recalling his visit to the Aggies game against Tennessee last season with his girlfriend and good friend earlier this week.
“We were talking earlier about where we were sitting,” Stidham said. “It’s crazy how things have changed in just a year.”
Starting 10-of-10 through the middle of the second quarter, Stidham was stalled some, but sprung open Auburn’s scoring streak of 28 unanswered points after slinging a 53-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton late in the second quarter. The score gave the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
“We started to execute a little bit better, we got some first downs and got up to the line and ran plays and established tempo,” Stidham said. “Anytime you can make a big play like that, hit a pass like that, it’s really exciting for us and is something we try to execute every week.”
After being sacked twice in the first quarter, Auburn shifted men in its offensive line and kept Stidham from being taken down for a loss for the remainder of the game.
“I thought our quarterback played extremely well,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “They’re one of the best teams in the country at rushing the passer and he was under some duress early. We had some offensive linemen who gave it a shot and tried to play and after a couple of series they felt like they couldn’t do it and I’m really proud of our offensive line.
Secured protection allowed Stidham to make plays from the pocket, completing four passes for 29 yards or more. He also added a 24-yard rush on Auburn’s first scoring drive of the second half.
“Chip [Lindsey] really wanted to put the ball down the field,” Malzahn said of his offensive coordinator’s play-calling. “He thought we could run by them, so that was a big part of the plan. We mixed in the run enough and I thought he had a good plan and I thought our guys executed well.”
A&M was at a disadvantage in the secondary, with starting cornerback Charles Oliver and starting nickelback Antonio Howard out with injuries. This left the Aggies shifting players around the back end of the defense, most times resorting to underclassmen.
“I looked out there one time and everybody but Armani was a true freshman against a pretty experienced football team and a good quarterback,” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said.
Balancing the offensive attack allowed the Tigers to keep the Aggie defenders on the heels. Running back Kerryon Johnson complimented Stidham’s strong Saturday with a stellar outing himself, rushing for 145 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown.
They put them in the right positions and make plays,” senior safety Armani Watts said of Auburn’s offensive game plan. “We have to be able to get in those right gaps and do our assignments.”

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