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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Florida’s Kyle to Kyle connection falls short in Kyle Field

Courtesy of Bailey Orr/Texas A&M Athletics

Freshman defensive lineman McKinnley Jackson tackles Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.

No. 4 Florida’s powerful offensive Kyle duo made its way to Kyle Field this Saturday, but was contained by the defense and overshadowed by Texas A&M’s own offensive pair.
Prior to the A&M game, Florida’s senior quarterback Kyle Trask and junior tight end Kyle Pitts had connected for six touchdowns, with Pitts leading the Gators with 227 receiving yards. Against A&M, Pitts and Trask connected to earn the first touchdown of the game during the Gator’s opening drive with a five yard pass, but their momentum stopped there.
The A&M defense was able to hold the Gators to 38 points with 312 receiving and 90 rushing yards. They were also able to somewhat contain the previously dominant Kyle connection.
Posting only 47 receiving yards, Pitts’ only connection with Trask that led to a touchdown was a pass from the Gator’s opening drive. Rather than Pitts dominating the stat sheet for the Gators, senior Kadarius Toney was Florida’s leading receiver with 92 yards.
Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson said the defense focused on shutting Pitts down.
“Kyle Pitts, he’s a great player,” Johnson said. “We took him out of the game. He’s a big thing for their offense. We forced Kyle [Trask] to make other throws.”
Florida’s Kyle duo was overshadowed by a different connection — one between A&M senior quarterback Kellen Mond and sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller. Mond passed the ball off to Spiller to run it into the endzone twice. Their second connection was a turning point in the game, as it was early in during the fourth quarter and gave A&M its first lead of the game, 31-28.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Spiller had a great game.
“Isaiah was awesome today,” Fisher said. “Ran the ball hard against a very good physical defense and [I’m] very proud of him. That’s a big time effort today.”
Spiller had a total of 174 rushing yards against the Gators. He is A&M’s first 100-yard rusher against a top 10 team since Trayveon Williams totaled 204 yards against LSU during the 74-72 upset in 2018.
Spiller said he was simply executing the game plan.
“I was just doing my job today, I’m grateful that coach [Fisher] believes in me,” Spiller said. “I’m thankful for God for giving me the ability to run.”
Discouraging Florida’s duo was key to upsetting the Gators from a defensive front, but A&M’s offensive tandem of Mond and Spiller is what ushered in the momentum to getting points on the board for the 41-38 Gator upset.
While this is a great win for the team, Fisher said A&M’s focus needs to be on moving forward.
“What a game. I’m so proud of our players [and] it shows what you’re capable of,” Fisher said. “[But] this is one game, this doesn’t mean anything if we don’t follow it up.”

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