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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

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Hot or Not

Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser
Donovan Wilson

Who’s hot:

Kyler Murray: 

True freshman Kyler Murray hit the field running in his first start at Kyle Field. In a new offensive look that featured a mixed rushing attack, a quick passing game and high tempo, Murray came out and contributed what A&M has desperately needed from its quarterback position this season. 

He protected the football, not allowing any turnovers on offense. He got a total of 29 first downs against the Gamecocks, which is more than double the team’s first downs against Ole Miss. More importantly, he moved the ball and accounted for 379 total yards with 223 in the air and 156 on the ground. 

Tra Carson: 

A dangerous read option quarterback in Murray keeps the A&M defense on its heels, opening up the door for an effective rushing attack. Carson had a field day as a runner and as a receiver out of the back field against a South Carolina defense that constantly had to adjust to new formations and new threats offensively. 

Carson finished with 21 carries for 122 yards and one touchdown. His efficiency on the ground also contributed to A&M winning the time of possession, while maintaining a legitimate two-dimensional offense that was non-existent against Alabama and Ole Miss. In the Aggies’ six wins this season, Carson has averaged nearly 20 carries per game. In their two losses, he averaged 13.5 carries a game. This offense has to be able to run the ball effectively in their remaining match-ups and force defenses to place more defenders in the tackle box to stop the run, which will open up more one-on-one opportunities for A&M’s talented receiving corps.

Donovan Wilson: 

The sophomore nickel back grabbed his fourth and fifth interceptions last Saturday, which put him in a tie for first in interceptions in the SEC. It also totaled 13 total takeaways for the Aggie defense, which now ranks fourth in the SEC. Wilson contributed to a passing defense that, despite some lapses on third down, held Gamecock quarterback Perry Orth to less than 200 yards passing and was able to score on defense.

Who’s not:

A&M front seven: 

The Aggie front line struggled again to slow down the rushing attack of an SEC opponent, giving up 253 yards on the ground and a 66-yard gash along the edge setting up a go-ahead touchdown late in the first quarter. A&M had trouble setting the edge against the Gamecock rushers, who ran the ball with ease outside the tackles to force the Aggie secondary to make far too many tackles in the open field. 

The defense, particularly the outside linebackers, has to do a better job of forcing the run inside to allow the inside backers and defensive line to make tackles rather than the safeties and corners. They have to remain more disciplined and play their assignments if they expect to slow down rushers from Auburn, Vanderbilt and LSU. 

This defense ranks second-to-last against the rush, but has the talent to make a quick turnaround and it will help to have a productive offensive unit to feed off of this time.

What to watch for: 

Look for offensive coordinator Jake Spavital to call more elaborate passing plays for Kyler Murray, particularly throws off the play action. Also expect him to roll out plays to get him moving in and out of the pocket. After A&M’s running success against South Carolina, expect it to continue to run the ball with efficiency against the Tigers, who give up nearly 200 rushing yards per game and rank 102nd in the FBS in total defense.

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