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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 University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘Don’t assume anything’

Freshman+wide+receiver%26%23160%3BChristian+Kirk%26%23160%3Bracked+up+over+224+all-purpose+yards+and+two+total+touchdowns+in+his+college+football+debut.
Photo by Bryan Johnson

Freshman wide receiver Christian Kirk racked up over 224 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns in his college football debut.

In its 2015 season debut, the Texas A&M football team gave the nation a look at a new and improved defense that landed the Aggies a spot in the top-25 of the AP rankings. Week two calls for another debut — that of the newly renovated Kyle Field. 
After two offseasons full of construction and redevelopment, the No. 16 Aggies (1-0) will christen the stadium Saturday when they welcome the Ball State Cardinals (1-0) to College Station for the first ever meeting between the two programs. 
When breaking down the matchup with Arizona State, it is easy to make a comparison to last year’s season opener against South Carolina. A&M came into both games ranked lower than its opponent, yet performed at a very high level and garnered national attention. The focus for the Aggies moving forward is to use what they learned from last season and not allow the moment to overwhelm them and precipitate another mid-season drop off. 
“Don’t assume anything,” said Head Coach Kevin Sumlin at the team’s weekly press conference. “What is important: how we approach this week of practice, how we approach the next few weeks and how we approach what our team attitude is and learning from last year.”
A lot of buzz surrounding the week one contest at NRG Stadium was centered around Sumlin’s decision to play both Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray as quarterback. Regardless of the uncertainty pertaining to Sumlin’s intentions with quarterback play entering the ASU game, he clarified the plan all along was to insert Murray into the game. The dynamic of two players splitting time in the backfield can have the potential to throw off a team’s chemistry, but Kyle Allen’s maturity enabled the offense to stay calm and collected. Allen said although the offense made some mistakes, their ability to stay focused led to the Aggies’ strong finish. 
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Allen said. “But as you could see at the end of the game, the way that we really came together as a [team] and scored on those last three drives kind of tells where we’re at as a unit.” 
Both Murray and Allen are expected to take snaps under the lights of Kyle Field Saturday evening. 
Although Ball State’s week one opponent was not of the same caliber as a team like Arizona State, the Cardinal offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Keydets and quarterback Jake Milas put on a show. The sophomore started the game by completing his first eight passes on the way to racking up 338 total yards passing and one touchdown through the air. Milas’ performance led Ball State to a 48-36 victory in week one. 
The Aggies’ defensive end combination of Daeshon Hall and Myles Garrett will be looking to give Milas and the Cardinals a suffocating amount of pressure on A&M’s home turf tomorrow evening. The two defenders combined for six total sacks and 6.5 TFLs against ASU. Defensive Coordinator John “Chief” Chavis was impressed with his players, but said it is what he anticipated from them after seeing the way that they prepared for the season. 
“I’ve said all along that we feel like we have the best two ends as a pair in college football, and I think they backed that up [last] Saturday,” Chavis said. “Now we’ve got to go and do it every week and they’ve worked that way and they prepare that way, and when they prepare that way you expect them to play that way.”
Hall, Garrett and the remainder of the swarming A&M defense will attempt to build off week one’s top-notch performance and keep in check a Cardinal offense that rushed for 229 yards in its season debut. 
Saturday night at 6 p.m. fans will welcome the first 2015 kickoff in the largest stadium in the SEC.

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