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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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Explosive first half guides A&M to 56-23 win over Ball State

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Photo by Timothy Lai

A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

Although Toledo surprised the nation with an upset over Arkansas and it took overtime for Auburn to knock off Jacksonville State, Texas A&M refused to follow suit of its SEC counterparts.
Thanks to 49 first half points – the most by an Aggie team since 2012 – No. 16 Texas A&M (2-0) marched to a 56-23 victory over Ball State in front of 104,213 fans in the newly renovated Kyle Field.
“It’s good that everything is done now,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We appreciate it as a football team to have to be able to play in the finest football facility in college football and in the world. We don’t take that for granted. I knew it probably more than 102 [thousand]. It looked like there was people on top of people.”
Kyle Allen’s day failed to reach halftime, as his 20-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Tabuyo capped a seven play, 73-yard drive to make things 42-3 with 9:13 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
Taking Allen’s place was true freshman quarterback Kyler Murray, who split time with Allen in the season opener against Arizona State. Murray recorded a touchdown after 16 plays, finding Christian Kirk for six on a 10-yard pass.
Murray’s night came to an end on an unusual touchdown from offensive lineman Koda Martin on a recovered fumble in the endzone with 10:28 remaining in the contest, registering the Aggies only points in the second half. Starting offensive lineman Joseph Cheek said he was elated for his teammate.
“It’s definitely something we dream of all the time,” Cheek said. “I’m happy for Koda and it couldn’t have happened to a better dude. That guy’s been working his tail off.”
Blinn transfer Jake Hubenak finished the game after Murray, who went 9-for-14 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Allen threw for 126 yards and three scores through the air on 10-for-13 passing.
Similarly to Allen, Ball State quarterback Jack Milas exited before the conclusion of the 2nd quarter, but only because he completed a mere two passes. Moreover, while one reached the hands of a Cardinals receiver, the other connected with Aggie cornerback De’Vante Harris for a 40-yard pick-six to extend the lead to 28-3.
“He’s the De’Vante that we all wished he’d be,” Sumlin said. “He really took the offseason serious this year…Let’s be honest, I think the style of play that [John Chavis] brings with more man-to-man and little tighter coverage, that plays right to his strengths.”
The Cardinals (1-1) offense opened the gates following an Aggie touchdown with a 71-yard drive of their own, but sputtered for the rest of the game, managing 121 passing yards. At halftime, Ball State held 99 total yards to its name.
While three Aggie quarterbacks saw the field, 11 receivers caught at least one pass, including Kyle Allen. With a 4-point advantage, A&M opened up the playbook with a lateral from Allen to running back Tra Carson, who then threw it back to Allen, which turned into 28 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Allen connected with Josh Reynolds on a 3-yard fade with one-on-one coverage, giving the Aggies a 14-3 edge.
Establishing the ground game early, the Aggies went to the air just once on the opening drive, which concluded with a 1-yard Tra Carson touchdown up the gut.
Three A&M running backs tallied double-digit carries, and freshman Kwame Etwi led the pack with 116 yards on 12 touches. Senior walk-on Brice Dolezal notched a career-high 17 carries, and turned that into 83 yards and a touchdown. Carson, the starter, rushed 10 times for 59 yards and score. Sumlin said Etwi helped take the load off Carson, who ran for a career-high 29 carries last week. 
“Kwame’s the new Dolezal,” Sumlin said. “Dolezal’s got some competition right now that he didn’t have before, and that’s a good thing…If Kwame keeps playing like he’s playing, then look out. He’s got some real juice.”
The win places Sumlin at 30 victories with the Aggies, and he will look to build off that when A&M hosts Nevada at 11 a.m. next Saturday.

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  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • A&M opened their first home game with a victory over Ball State, 56-23, on Saturday, September 13th.

    Photo by Timothy Lai
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