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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

Next up: The SEC East leaders

Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION
The football team “saws ‘em off” after the 21-16 victory against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.  
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION The football team “saws ‘em off” after the 21-16 victory against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.  

After rebounding from a three-game rut in October to win a pair of contests including a victory over an Auburn team with national championship aspirations, the Aggies will begin their final homestand against Missouri, a team they’ve hosted many times in the last half-decade.
A&M (7-3, 3-3 SEC) comes off a road upset of Auburn, who was ranked No. 3 before the Aggies toppled the Tigers 41-38 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Freshman quarterback Kyle Allen tossed four touchdown passes in the win, tying a school record for freshmen.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin confirmed that Allen will start Saturday and have the chance to win his third consecutive game in his second start at Kyle Field despite the expiration of sophomore Kenny Hill’s two-game suspension due to a violation of team rules.
Senior offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi said Allen surprised him by filling a more prominent leadership role than he is used to seeing in younger players.
“Really the way he was being vocal impressed me,” Ogbuehi said. “He was talking in the huddle, calling us up — that kind of thing impressed me, to have that confidence for a young kid.”
The Tigers (7-2, 4-1 SEC) have 25 players from Texas on their roster and are no strangers to College Station. The defending SEC East champs are making their fourth trip to Kyle Field in five years, and are 3-1 against A&M in that span.
“They will not be intimidated coming in here,” said Sumlin. “They have won four of the last five games we’ve played. Since we’ve been in this league we are 1-1 against them. They’ve got a lot of kids from the state of Texas that play. I heard coach Pinkel say yesterday, I think his words were that his guys enjoy playing here. We have our work cut out for us again this week.”
The matchup will feature the SEC’s top two pass rushers in Missouri’s Shane Ray and A&M’s Myles Garrett, who are first and second in the league in sacks with 12 and 11, respectively. Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel compared Garrett to former Mizzou defensive end Aldon Smith, a top-10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and the fastest player in NFL history to record 30 sacks.
“He’s been very disruptive,” Pinkel said. “He’s very, very impressive for a young player. He reminds me a little bit of Aldon Smith, who was a first round pick, a top-10 pick that played for us and now plays for the 49ers. That’s a huge compliment. [He’s] a very, very good athlete that has great movement and presents a lot of problems. He’s gotten better and better. Imagine what he’s going to look like in a year or two. He’s a great young player and he certainly has everybody’s attention on every play.”
While Mizzou ranks No. 115 in the country in passing offense, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said his team can’t afford to underestimate quarterback Maty Mauk.
“He’s a gym rat,” Snyder said. “I remember him when he was a little kid, when his brother was coming out. He studied Johnny Manziel to death for two years, watched all of his film, I know that for a fact. He keeps plays alive, and when he’s on he’s on. When he’s on, he’s a really good football player.”
Snyder credits the success of Mizzou’s offensive system to Pinkel’s ability to recruit talent that fits into his system.
“Coach Pinkel’s a great coach,” Snyder said. “He takes the talent that he has and he asks them to do what they can do. Gus [Malzahn] does the same thing. He’s a guy that takes his talent and adapts his offense to who he has. That’s why I think they’re making a little bit of a run right now. It took them maybe a little bit of time to figure that out — I think they’ve got it figured out right now.”
The Aggies kick off against Mizzou at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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