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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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First road test: A&M Offense vs Miami defense

Senior+WR+Ainias+Smith+%280%29+attempts+to+break+a+tackle+from+Miami+DB+Al+Blades%2C+Jr.+%287%29+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Miami+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+17%2C+2022.
Photo by Ishika Samant

Senior WR Ainias Smith (0) attempts to break a tackle from Miami DB Al Blades, Jr. (7) during Texas A&M’s game against Miami at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

The first true test for offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino and the Texas A&M offense awaits them this weekend, as the Aggies travel to Miami to face the Hurricanes.
In its debut, the Petrino offense provided much excitement as the Aggies scored 52 points against New Mexico, a feat the Maroon and White have not reached since the Nov. 20, 2021 game against Prairie View A&M. However, A&M must be prepared this week for tougher competition, facing a defense that allowed only 3 points in Week 1 against Miami (OH).
Much like the Aggies’ offense, there is a new coordinator on the defensive side of the ball for Miami in Lance Guidry. Both Petrino and Guidry gave the fans of their respective teams great debuts, and they look to carry that on into Week 2.
The 2022 matchup between the Aggies and Hurricanes at Kyle Field resulted in a 17-9 victory for the Maroon and White. In Part 2 of the home and away between the two schools, the scoreboard has a chance to look very different.
What stood out for the A&M offense in Week 1 was the passing attack led by sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman and sophomore wide receivers Noah Thomas and Evan Stewart, who missed the 2022 Miami game due to a suspension.
The Maroon and White threw for a total of 277 yards and six touchdowns against New Mexico. Thomas accounted for 74 of those yards and three touchdowns while Stewart went for 155 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
However, the Aggies will be up against a more talented secondary group when they face the Hurricanes on Saturday, Sept. 9. Junior safeties Kamren Kinchens and James Williams return from a Miami defense that only allowed 140 yards and a touchdown through the air against the Aggies in 2022.
Kinchens and Williams are both high-level prospects for the 2024 NFL draft, as they are ranked No. 1 and 5 at their position by NFLDraftBuzz.com, respectively. Despite the stability at safety from a year ago, the Hurricanes lost key corners from the team that came to College Station in 2022.
Tyrique Stevenson was drafted 56th overall to the Chicago Bears, while DJ Ivey went in the seventh round to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The corners tasked with facing the lethal weapons A&M has at the receiver position will be fifth-year senior Te’Cory Couch, redshirt senior and Oklahoma transfer Jaden Davis, and redshirt junior Davonte Brown.
A&M’s receivers against Miami’s secondary could wind up being the most important battle of the game. The Aggies run game is still unproven and could face some trouble up against a strong Miami defensive line.
The front four for the Canes is led by junior Akheem Mesidor, an All-ACC honorable mention in 2022 and junior Leonard Taylor III, ranked as the No. 2 draft prospect at the defensive tackle position by NFLDraftBuzz.com.
A&M’s offensive line will have an early season test against the Hurricanes as they look to continue the success in the passing game and provide the holes for the young Aggie backs to run through.
The Aggie running backs totaled 122 yards on 24 attempts against New Mexico, but could be tasked with playing a bigger role against Miami. It will be interesting to see how the position plays out for the Maroon and White and which back has the hot hand in Week 2 between junior Miami native Amari Daniels, sophomore Le’Veon Moss and five-star freshman Reuben Owens.
No matter how things shake out on the field for the Aggies and Hurricanes, the chess match between Petrino and Guidry should be a fun one to follow at the Hard Rock Stadium.

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