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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

The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
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The Aggies react after clinching the national championship after Texas A&M’s win against Georgia at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Game in Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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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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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

New coordinators take center stage in A&M’s offense and Auburn’s defense

Photo by Ishika Samant

Junior Isaiah Spiller breaks a 15 yard run.

Strong against strong.
While the Texas A&M defense and the Auburn offense have been the weaker points of their respective teams, the A&M offense and the Auburn defense have started off on a good note.
So far, offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino has lived up to expectations and produced an offense much improved from last season. Not once did the Aggies score into the 40s last year and they have already done that twice this season.
However, as competition continues to step up come SEC play, the Aggie fans will soon find out just how good the A&M offense can be.
The Tigers have a new defensive coordinator this year in Ron Roberts from Baylor. In his first three games, the Auburn defense has only given up a total of 37 points. In its Week 2 matchup against California, the Tigers held the Golden Bears to 4/18 on third down en route to a 14-10 win.
However, the Auburn defense received unfortunate news this week as junior cornerback Keionte Scott will miss some time due to a right ankle surgery. The Tigers could also be missing other key players in the secondary in senior corner Nehemiah Pritchett, who has yet to play this season, and junior safety Donovan Kaufman who missed last week’s game against Samford.
“That is a great challenge,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “We have to get some young guys ready. They are going to get baptized into the SEC pretty good in front of A&M’s crowd and the talent on that team.
“I think [Kaufman] will be fine,” Freeze said. “We need all these guys on Saturday, so hopefully, we will have a good week of rehab and they will be ready to go. It is concerning right now that list that they gave me this morning.”
Auburn’s passing yards allowed ranks 12th in the nation. However, with the injuries in the secondary, A&M has a chance to exploit it this week. Sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman looked impressive through three weeks, and the Aggies have had three different receivers catch for over 100 yards in a game this season.
Sophomore wide receiver Evan Stewart was held out of the game against ULM, and sophomore wide receiver Noah Thomas missed most of that matchup due to an undisclosed injury. However, head coach Jimbo Fisher said in his weekly press conference that they should be good to go this weekend.
The good news for the Aggies is that they had other receivers step up in the passing game last week in senior Ainias Smith and junior Jahdae Walker, who both went over 100 yards against the Warhawks.
Auburn’s run defense ranks 42nd in the nation and could be a problem against the Aggies inexperienced backs. However, freshman running back Rueben Owens has the opportunity to take a step-up in his young career.
Owens averaged 6.4 yards a carry last week while scoring his first collegiate touchdown. The other backs in the stable, junior Amari Daniels and sophomore Le’Veon Moss, have provided good numbers but have both seen limited time in conference play.
Auburn will also be familiar with both Daniels and Moss, as both played a lot in the matchup last season with Devon Achane being out due to injury.
The Tigers’ ability to stop the run could be crucial in this matchup with its depleted secondary. If the Aggies can establish an efficient running game, then the Tigers could have some trouble defending both the pass and run.
However, one of the biggest matchups could be decided in the trenches. A&M’s offensive line will be faced with a tough and physical defensive line from Auburn, head coach Jimbo Fisher said.
“The intricacies of the O-line and D-line, I don’t think people give the true credit for how complicated and tough it truly is and understand how the game is won and lost there,” Fisher said. “We get so enamored by the skill guys in space, but the greatness is measured by those guys.”

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