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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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Five Takeaways: Texas A&M’s home opener versus Nicholls State

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore running back Trayveon Williams put the Aggies ahead 14-0 with a 17-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.

Next man up
With the injuries that have plagued the Texas A&M team so early in the season, the next man up has never been more important. When running back Keith Ford went out for the game following an apparent injury, the Aggies looked to running back Kendall Bussey to provide a spark in Ford’s absence, and he did just that. Despite not starting the game, Bussey became A&M’s leading rusher of the night, rushing for almost 100 yards on 15 carries. Not only that, he also scored the go-ahead touchdown that broke the tie. 
Jake Hubenak needs to step up as a leader
Although the Aggies have a leader on the offense in junior wide receiver Christian Kirk, he can only do so much. Senior quarterback Jake Hubenak has the potential to be the other leader that the offense can look to. Freshman quarterback Kellen Mond, although very talented, is young and lacks the in-game experiences that shape a leader. It was evident when Hubenak came in with a little under 10 minutes left in the third quarter that the offensive tempo — which was dismal for the majority of the game — returned to the fast pace that wasn’t seen since the first half of the UCLA game. Hubenak brings experience and leadership that he has gained through his career, which includes his stints at both Oklahoma State and Blinn College .
Offensive productivity 
The Aggies went two full quarters without producing any points. They punted the ball away six times to the Colonels and were 10-of-19 on third down conversions. Dropped passes and miscommunication with the receivers played a big part in the lack of production. The A&M receiving corps averaged as a whole less than 200 yards, whereas Nicholls State’s receiving corps produced over 250 yards. For A&M to score 44 points in the season opener at UCLA and then return home and produce about half of that in their home stadium definitely yields some concern.
Defense held its own
Despite giving up 264 yards in the air, the Aggies run defense held the Colonels to less than 75 yards on the ground. Defensive lineman Daylon Mack was disruptive up front on the line and was in the mix of many plays. The new faces on the defense have made an instant impact on the playing field. True freshman defensive back Debione Renfro caused a fumble, which he recovered early in the third quarter. Sophomore linebacker Tyrel Dodson sealed the A&M victory after intercepting the ball at the Nicholls State 19-yard line. Coming into the season, there were questions about the defense and how they would fare after losing key players. However, the young defense shows a lot of promise this early in the season.
Closing out the game 
The win was ugly, but, regardless, it was a win. Last week at the Rose Bowl, the Aggies had multiple chances to close out the game considering the lead, however they were unable to do so. This week after Nicholls State tied the game up early in the fourth quarter, the A&M defense stepped up and held the Colonels from scoring. On the offensive side of the game, despite several failed attempts to score, A&M kept pushing forward with the help of Hubenak and Bussey. Regardless, A&M is 1-1 on the season. However, this level of performance will not cut it when it comes down to SEC play a few weeks from now. 

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