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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

Technology management sophomore Ashley Mendoza and communication junior Madeline Sturm work at the MSC Help Desk on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
University classes canceled due to IT outage
An error released in an update to Windows devices has shut down A&M’s technology network
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Texas A&M LB Taurean York (21) speaks during the 2024 SEC Media Day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday July 18, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M football is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference this season, per the SEC football preseason media poll...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
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Shalina Sabih July 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
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Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

GAME RECAP: Texas A&M defeats No. 13 Kentucky at home

Junior%26%23160%3BTyrell+Dodson+warms+up+coming+back+onto+the+field+after+exiting+the+match+with+an+injury.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Junior Tyrell Dodson warms up coming back onto the field after exiting the match with an injury.

What began as a slow game ended in an electric victory for the Aggies.
Kentucky hit a roadblock on offense when the Aggies provided a quick answer for standout running back Benny Snell, Jr. The first quarter was plagued with offensive mistakes on both sides, which resulted in two punts for each team.
However on the Wildcat’s third drive after a pair of short runs by Asim Rose, quarterback Terry Wilson found wideout Lynn Bowden Jr. for a 54-yard touchdown to land on the scoreboard first.
A&M’s journey to the scoreboard would prove to be more rigorous. After Kentucky’s first score, the Aggies carried their struggles into the beginning of the 2nd quarter with a turnover on downs and another punt.
On the first punt of the 2nd quarter, Aggie punter Braden Mann launched it for 82 yards — the longest punt this year and the third longest in school history. The last A&M punt to reach this distance was in 1944.
After another unsuccessful drive for Kentucky, A&M caught their stride near the end of the 2nd quarter. Following a quick 32-yard catch by Trayveon Williams, A&M marched into the Wildcats territory with a vengeance and found wideout Cameron Buckley in the endzone to tie the game up at seven.
The Aggie defense carried this momentum into the next series, applying pressure that caused Terry Wilson to make rushed decisions, resulting in negative yardage and another punt before going into halftime.
The outstanding figures at the intermission were Kentucky’s rushing numbers, with Snell only running for 23 yards on six carries. The Wildcats were struggling to produce significant yardage, keeping the defense off the field, as well as converting on third downs.
In the second half, A&M opened with a promising drive that ended with despair after center Eric McCoy fumbled the snap, resulting in a loss for 11 yards, followed by a missed field goal off of the upright which kept the game tied.
Although the Aggie offense was struggling to find points at the beginning of the second half, one thing remained clear. The defense was just too much for Kentucky’s run-heavy offense.
“We pride ourselves on stopping the run,” linebacker Tyrel Dodson said after the game. “That’s how you win in the SEC.”
Kentucky found themselves punting for the rest of regulation, not making it to A&M territory until overtime.
Both teams failed to find the endzone in the third quarter, but A&M would get there on a freak play on the second drive of the final quarter.
After a 43-yard punt return by Roshauud Paul, A&M was in Wildcat territory from the start. On second down and 8, Mond found Buckley open between the hashes. On the catch, the ball would bounce out of Buckley’s hands and into the arms of tight end Jace Sternberger, who ran it 46 yards to the endzone to put the Aggies on top 14-7.
Sternberger gave all the credit to the coaches.
“Earlier in the game, we were in the same play and I went inside the [linebacker] which was a mistake on me,” Sternberger said “[Tim Brewster] made sure we made the adjustment, let me know I had to get outside. If it wasn’t for another great coaching tip by him, that play never happened.”
After another Kentucky punt, A&M found themselves in a time-sensitive situation late in the fourth quarter.
With 4:30 left, A&M was ready to put the game away with a play-action pass, but before Mond had time to set up, he was face-to-face with another defender in the backfield. Trying to make a quick rush upfield to avoid a loss of yardage, Wildcat defender Derrick Baity stripped Mond, resulting in a scoop and score for Darius West.
“I didn’t get the snap cleanly under center,” Mond explained. “When I came out, I think I was just trying to fight and do too much instead of tucking the ball.”
With the game tied, each team would punt it away for the last time in regulation. Kentucky would be forced to give it back to A&M for potentially the last drive of the game.
Williams would run one more time out of bounds to the A&M 44 to stop the clock with two seconds left, giving Kellen Mond the chance to throw a hail mary to end the game. The pass came up incomplete as time expired, sending the contest into overtime.
A&M won the toss and deferred to begin the last stint of the game, giving Kentucky one last chance to score. Kentucky gained 8 yards quickly on two plays before defensive lineman Kingsley Keke sacked Terry Wilson on third down for 8 yards to put the Wildcats right back where they started.
On the final down Kentucky kicker Miles Butler booted the ball just short, hitting the front of the crossbar. An overjoyed but focused A&M offense came in with even quicker results.
Trayveon Williams immediately ran for 9 yards, followed by a 2 yard rush by Mond to bring up a first down. After another 4 yard rush from Williams, the Aggies found themselves on the Kentucky 10-yard line.
On second down, A&M was ready to put it away. On a designed run, Williams broke a tackle just beyond the line of scrimmage to find another Kentucky defender in front of him. With only the endzone behind Derrick Baity Jr., Williams leapt up and flipped into the endzone for the score, promptly ending the game with an Aggie victory.
Williams finished the game with 138 yards on 24 carries, along with a single touchdown. He also led in receiving yards with 72.
“I proved that I’m a great back, that I can contend,” Williams said. “I’m one of the best backs, if not the best back in the SEC.”
Quarterback Kellen Mond provided a much improved performance, with 226 yards passing along with 2 passing touchdowns.
A&M plays South Carolina next Saturday in Columbia before their annual bye week.

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