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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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Kyle Allen will make first SEC start Saturday in Jordan-Hare

 
 

Listed as a three-touchdown underdog, A&M will aim to pull off the upset as the football team travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on the No. 3 Auburn Tigers at 2:30 p.m.
Freshman quarterback Kyle Allen will make his first career SEC start Saturday. The Aggies are on a three-game losing streak in SEC play, while Auburn has won 14 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Allen will have the task of leading the Aggies (6-3, 2-3 SEC) under center after beating out a now-suspended Kenny Hill for the starting job. Hill will serve the last game of his two-game suspension Saturday and be eligible to return against Missouri.
“Right now, it’s [Allen’s] to take,” A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “I see him going forward; when Kenny goes back it’s just based off performance — what Kyle’s doing. Right now, it’s his job to take.”
Allen was made aware that he would be the starting quarterback last Thursday, just two days before he made his first career start. He turned in a 13-of-28 performance for 106 yards, which included a touchdown as well as an interception.
The Tigers have allowed a total of 757 passing yards in their last two games, and held freshman quarterback Brandon Harris of LSU to 3-of-14 for 58 yards when the teams played to a 41-7 Auburn victory in October.
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was questioned about how open the playbook was for the backup-turned-starter, as well as his instructions for scrambling as opposed to staying in the pocket.
“We’ll play some better athletes this week,” Sumlin said. “We’re not taking away his ability to run, but he needs to be more aware of what he can do and what he can’t do, and he understands that.”
Auburn will need to be aware of freshman defensive end Myles Garrett’s location on the field at all times. Garrett has already surpassed the eight-sack rookie season of South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney, the former SEC record holder of sacks in a season for a freshman. Though he already has 11 sacks on the year, A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder believes Garrett is far from done.
“The challenge for Myles is, ‘So we have the SEC sack record, right? Let’s put it out of reach of anybody else,’” Snyder said.
Auburn (7-1, 4-1 SEC) has allowed QB Nick Marshall to be sacked just six times this season, lowest in the conference.
A&M will travel to Auburn down a starter on offense, as offensive tackle Germain Ifedi has likely been lost for the season due to a grade-two MCL sprain.
Sumlin also labeled the status of corner Deshazor Everett as “iffy for this weekend” with a ruptured tendon in the senior’s elbow.
Spavital hinted in the Tuesday press conference that wide receiver Speedy Noil may see some time in the quarterback role for Saturday’s game, including plans to put together a package to best utilize his overall talent alongside Allen. Noil, a freshman, leads A&M in all-purpose yards with 995.
After Auburn, the Aggies continue the “Tiger segment” of their schedule with home games against Missouri and LSU to complete the regular season.
Freshman Kyle Allen led the Aggies in a 21-15 victory against the ULM Warhawks last Saturday at Kyle Field.
Photo by Bryan Johnson.

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