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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

No. 23 A&M football wins big in season opener against New Mexico

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Sophomore WR Evan Stewart (1) gets hit by New Mexico S Tavian Combs (7) while catching a pass in the endzone during a game vs. New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 at Kyle Field.

New offense, new intro, new look Texas A&M football. 
No. 23 A&M, head coach Jimbo Fisher and new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino rebounded from a disappointing 5-7 season and gave Aggie fans something to look forward to for the rest of the year as they dominated New Mexico in the season opener, 52-10.
“Very proud of our guys, it was a good opening win of the season,” Fisher said. “I thought the guys played hard, played physical. I thought we were very efficient, especially in the first half.”
In front of a crowd of 97,560, the Aggies showed that they are a different team than the one from a season ago. The Maroon and White never scored in the 40 point range in 2022. With Petrino now in control of the offense, the Aggies eclipsed well over that in Game 1.
“We came in with a chip on our shoulder, to prove people that we’re capable of leading this offense,” sophomore wide receiver Noah Thomas said. “We just love, trust and believe in each other and we made it happen.”
Sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman threw for 236 yards, completing 18 of his 23 passes. Thomas hauled in three touchdown grabs while sophomore wide receiver Evan Stewart went for 115 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The tandem of Stewart and Thomas put on a show for the Aggie faithful.
“Like Coach Petrino says, we got to feed the studs,” Weigman said. “They made my life easier out there and the whole line went to work all night.”
If there was any doubt from fans of the Maroon and White that the new-look offense would falter, that faded quickly. On its first offensive possession, A&M marched 85 yards down the field in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead. The drive was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Weigman to Thomas.
The offensive success continued on the Aggies’ next drive as Weigman connected with Stewart for a 35-yard touchdown to put the Maroon and White up 14-0, capping off a five play, 45-yard drive.
New Mexico responded on the ensuing drive, traveling 88 yards in six plays to cut its deficit to seven. Senior running back Jacory Croskey-Merritt finished off the drive with a 27-yard rushing touchdown.
However, the Aggie offense continued to roll, as Weigman found Thomas in the endzone for a second time, connecting for 34-yards and extending their lead to 21-7.
After the A&M defense forced a three-and-out, the Aggies scored for their fourth-straight possession, extending the lead to 28-7. Sophomore running back Le’Veon Moss finished off the drive with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
Graduate transfer defensive back Josh DeBerry got the Aggies’ first turnover of the night, intercepting redshirt senior quarterback Dylan Hopkin’s pass after being pressured by junior defensive lineman Fadil Diggs.
The Aggies capitalized on the interception, as Weigman hit Thomas for his third touchdown grab of the night, putting the Aggies up 35-7.
That score stood as the Aggies and Lobos trotted off to the locker room for halftime.
Coming out of the half, the Aggies were forced to punt for the first time in the game. In the ensuing drive, New Mexico kicked a field goal to shorten the deficit to 35-10.
The A&M offense then responded with another touchdown, as Stewart pulled in his second of the night, extending the Aggie lead to 42-10.
After the Aggies’ sixth touchdown drive of the night, Weigman’s night would be over, as A&M would give redshirt sophomore quarterback Max Johnson a chance for some game action.
Johnson led the Aggies down the field one more time for a touchdown, pushing the lead to 49-10. Johnson hooked up with junior wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad III for the seventh touchdown from the Aggie offense.
A&M scored one final time as junior kicker Randy Bond knocked down a 39-yard field goal to close out the victory, 52-10.
The Aggies look to continue their momentum from the season opener next week, as they travel to face Miami on Saturday, Sept. 9 for their first Power-Five test of the year.

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