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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Gameday takeaways: A&M running game on the rise

Football+A%26M+vs+Nevada
Photo by Photo By: Meredith Collier
Football A&M vs Nevada

1. A&M has finally figured out the last piece of the puzzle — the running game

The near abandonment of the running game in recent years has been a downfall of A&M. That and the defense, of course. But with the defense being the best it has been in recent history, the only thing left to fix was the rushing attack. A&M showed nice balance in the win on Saturday, with the Aggies amassing 233 yards rushing on the way to more than 500 yards of total offense. Tra Carson carried the load with 137 yards on the ground, and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. For A&M to continue their success, the ground game will have to stay equally as strong into SEC play.

2. The ground game isn’t only about Tra Carson, though

The Aggies received help in other places in the ground game on Saturday. Kyle Allen showed his surprising speed on his only touchdown run of the game, and gained 55 yards on 10 carries. If Allen and Tra Carson can consistently run the read option with the same success they had on Saturday, A&M will have another weapon in their arsenal on offense as SEC play begins. Brice Dolezal was also impressive on his only three carries of the game, gaining 24 yards on them while displaying elusiveness and agility. There was some question about who may handle the load behind Carson, but Dolezal is trusted by the coaching staff, and for now he is the second running back on the depth chart. 

3. Even without big time stats, Josh Reynolds is Kyle Allen’s favorite target

Christian Kirk is obviously a very big part of the offense, accounting for 120 yards receiving on six catches Saturday. However, Josh Reynolds seems to be Allen’s favorite red zone target. He hauled in three catches against Nevada, two of them being for touchdowns. Reynolds broke the single-season school record for touchdown receptions in a season, all while having major issues with his shoulder last season. Now, a fully healthy Reynolds is ready to make some noise. He will likely see his number of targets increase as SEC play arrives, and he is one of A&M’s most valued receivers as the gauntlet of conference play begins.

4. The defense was good — and Myles Garrett is the best pass rusher in the country

The transformation of the Aggie defense from 2014 to 2015 has been one of the most impressive turnaround jobs in the country. The defense held a run-heavy Nevada offense to just 359 total yards on Saturday, with only 153 yards rushing. Nevada had some short fields to work with on their scoring drives, and even when getting near the goal line, the Aggie defense stood strong all afternoon. Myles Garrett tallied 3.5 sacks in the game, and now leads the country with 5.5 on the season. Overall, the defense had 16 tackles for loss, and forced a turnover. Garrett is what makes the Aggie defensive engine run, and they look like they could be one of the SEC’s — if not the nation’s — top tier defenses this season.

5. Daylon Mack is a name you need to be familiar with

One of the most anticipated recruits in A&M history has already seen the field in his first collegiate action. Saturday, Mack sent social media into chaos for a little while after his crushing hit on Nevada running back James Butler in the backfield. Untouched, he flew in and managed to take down not only Butler, but also Nevada’s quarterback Tyler Stewart on a big-time hit posted all over social media. He had two total tackles on Saturday, both of them being for a loss. He might not handle loads of work on the line, but he will make some noise in opposing SEC backfield this year. Keep an eye out for him as conference play begins. 

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  • Football A&M vs Nevada

    Photo by Photo By: Meredith Collier
  • Football A&M vs Nevada

    Photo by Photo By: Meredith Collier
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