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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

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Next up: Nevada

Photo by Photo By: Tim Lai
Up Next: Nevada

The Texas A&M football team under head coach Kevin Sumlin is a perfect 17-0 against non-conference opponents. Next up to challenge that streak will be the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Saturday morning, the No. 17 Aggies (2-0) will welcome to Kyle Field a team led by a familiar face. Nevada head coach Brian Polian was first the special teams coordinator at A&M before taking on the lead role for the Wolf Pack (1-1). Sumlin said it is rewarding to see members of his staff go on to have success at the highest level of coaching. 

“It’s something we take pride in, to have only been a head coach [for eight years now] and have that many guys who are head coaches in different programs helps attract quality people to your program,” Sumlin said. “It creates an atmosphere that is conducive to creating head coaches.” 

The Aggies enter Saturday with a great deal of momentum after putting up nearly 100 points combined in their first two games of the season. Regardless of the fact A&M leads Nevada in every offensive category, Sumlin insisted the team give every opponent it encounters their due respect and ensures the players don’t catch the entitlement bug. 

“You have to respect your opponent every week,” Sumlin said. “You can’t ever, ever just expect [to play just a half]. I think people get caught up in that. That is kind of disrespectful.”

Coming into week two, there was chatter about whether or not Kyle Allen would remain starting quarterback. That talk has been silenced after the efficient performance Allen put on display in front of over 104,000 fans in Kyle Field last weekend. A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he was very impressed with the play of his sophomore quarterback. 

“I thought he played great,” Spavital said. “We gave him seven drives and he scored on six of them. He looks very comfortable back in the pocket right now. He is playing at a very high level right now — and I am very comfortable with where he is at.” 

After dissecting the game play by play, the coaching staff said there are still many aspects of the Aggies game they can improve upon. Amid the negative plays and questionable ball security, Spavital was able to notice improvement in the way his offense reacted to its setbacks. 

“The difference between Arizona State and Ball State was that you could see that they overcame adversity after negative plays,” said Spavital. “They came back, they settled down, they went to the next play and continued to move the sticks.”

At the inception of the 2015-2016 season, the Texas A&M defense was far from complete from a depth perspective. The combination of injuries and suspensions limited defensive coordinator John Chavis’ ability to substitute players in the front seven as freely as he would have liked to. With the return of linebacker Otaro Alaka last week and both A.J. Hilliard and Julien Obioha returning this week, the Aggies will be ready for a Wolf Pack rushing attack that should not be overlooked.  

“They do a great job and they are committed to running the football,” Chavis said. “Not just the running backs, but they have a offensive line that is physical and well coached. The backs, both of them, are strong and good runners. We’ll have to play better in those [run] situations this week.” 

With the revitalized defense and an A&M offense that spreads the wealth, the Wolf Pack will have its work cut out for them as they attempt to capture a win over a ranked opponent for the first time in five years. 

The Aggies kickoff against Nevada at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kyle Field. The game will be broadcasted nationally on the SEC Network. 

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