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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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No. 23 A&M upset by unranked Miami

Junior+RB+Amari+Daniels+%284%29+pushes+through+the+defensive+line+in+the+first+quarter+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BM%26%238217%3Bs+game+against+Miami+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+9%2C+2023+at+Hard+Rock+Stadium+in+Miami+Gardens%2C+Fla.
Photo by Jared Lennon/The Miami Hurricane

Junior RB Amari Daniels (4) pushes through the defensive line in the first quarter during Texas A&M’s game against Miami on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Big plays, miscues and turnovers helped Miami topple Texas A&M Football in its second game of the 2023 season.
In its first Power-Five test of the season, No. 23 A&M went back and forth in a scoring shootout with the Miami Hurricanes, which ended in an upset 48-33 Miami win.
Right off the bat, the Maroon and White special teams made their presence known in Hard Rock Stadium, with a fast stop at the Miami 11-yard line due to a wrap-up tackle from the 12th Man, fifth-year linebacker Sam Mathews.
Then, after a quick three-and-out by the Maroon and White defense, junior wide receiver Jahdae Walker blocked the Hurricanes punt, setting up excellent field position at the 15-yard line for sophomore quarterback Connor Weigman and the rest of offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino’s “studs” on offense.
Weigman capped off a three-play drive, utilizing his rushing ability on the 1-yard line for the first score of the game, putting A&M on top 7-0. In the Aggies’ next possession, Weigman connected with freshman running back Ruben Owens for a 24-yard pass down the sideline.
However, the 12-play drive ultimately resulted in a 24-yard field goal by junior kicker Randy Bond, after a connection from Weigman to sophomore wide receiver Evan Stewart fell short of the first down.
The Hurricanes needed a jolt of life back in their offense after their first two possessions were short-lived, and they received it in the form of a 48-yard pass from junior quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to junior wide receiver Xavier Restrepo, with senior defensive back Demani Richardson finally bringing down Restrepo at the Hurricane’s 16-yard line.
After a pair of rushes from Hurricane junior running backs Henry Parish Jr. and freshman Mark Fletcher Jr., Van Dyke capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Colbie Young, pushing the score to 10-7 going into the second quarter.
After an offensive drive that went eight plays for only 26 yards, the Aggies’ special teams came up with another big play, after Miami junior punt returner and receiver Jacolby George bobbled the catch on Miami’s own 9-yard line, setting up a fast red-zone offense for Weigman once more.
Following an incomplete pass to sophomore tight end Jake Johnson, junior running back Amari Daniels made his presence known, barrelling down the middle for a 9-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 17-7.
Van Dyke and Young didn’t back down from a challenge, as the two connected once more for a 16-yard completion. This set up Van Dyke for a mismatch on the outside corner, completing a 52-yard dime to redshirt-freshman wide receiver Isaiah Horton for the score, closing in on A&M, 17-14.
Van Dyke and company followed up with a time consuming,10-play drive, starting off with another huge completion from Van Dyke to Restrepo for 23 yards. Then, Aggie junior defensive lineman Shemar Turner ended the drive with a 7-yard sack. The five and a half-minute drive would end with junior kicker Andres Borregales attempting a 52-yard field goal that ended up drifting far right, the score would remain 17-14, Aggies leading up halftime.
Late in the second quarter, Van Dyke led with his team six plays down the field, capping off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to George, taking the lead 21-17 going into halftime.
A&M came out of halftime changing its offensive strategy with Weigman completing five of his next six attempts. The 12-play, 59-yard drive ended with Bond making a 28-yard field goal.
Miami junior kickoff returner and receiver Brashard Smith took off from his own 2-yard line to the back of A&M’s endzone unscathed for a 98-yard return, pushing the Hurricanes’ lead to 28-20.
The Maroon and White’s woes continued after an offensive drive was cut short in just four plays after Weigman threw his first career interception to defensive back Kamren Kinchens.
However, the Hurricane offense failed to score another 7, as the Aggie defense forced them to settle for a 34-yard field goal by Borregales, adding to the Hurricanes’ lead again.
Weigman responded, concluding an eight play 75-yard drive with an over-the-back shoulder throw to fifth-year running back Earnest Crownover for the 19-yard score, closing the gap to a 31-26 Miami lead. Fisher motioned for a 2-point attempt following the completion, which fell incomplete in the corner of the endzone.
Both teams ended up punting in the next two possessions before the end of the third quarter. Then, Van Dyke and Restrepo broke the offensive stalemate, marching down the field on a 24-yard completion, ending at the A&M 3-yard line. Van Dyke then connected with George for his second touchdown grab of the game.
Van Dyke helped set up his kicker once more, capping off a nine-play drive going 46 yards, ending with a 50-yard field goal for Borregales, his third of the day.
Despite the bleak two-possession deficit, the Maroon and White wouldn’t go down quietly as Weigman found Stewart for a 44-yard bomb, breathing new life into the offense. Then, on a desperate fourth and 9, Weigman found his Game 1 favorite, sophomore wide receiver Noah Thomas for a 9-yard touchdown, bringing the game to a one possession lead for the Hurricanes, the score now 41-33.
Defensive mistakes once again shot A&M in the foot as Van Dyke threw another dime down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown to George, while shaking off two Aggie defensive backs easily.
“That game, that secondary, we have to do better,” Richardson said. “I just feel we, as the secondary, we have to do a better job at covering and tackling.”
Tragedy struck late in the fourth quarter following a 20-yard completion from Weigman to fifth-year wide receiver Ainias Smith, where Kinchens made the tackle but was found motionless on the field directly after.
Hard Rock Stadium fell silent as a stretcher was brought out for the injured star defensive back. Kinchens was heard talking to medical staff as he was carted through the tunnel on his way to a medical facility.
When the game resumed, Weigman struggled to find any rhythm and ended up throwing his second interception to fifth-year cornerback Te’Corey Couch, ending the final offensive drive of the game, a 48-33 Miami Hurricane victory.
“We aren’t worried about expectations, we are worried about next week,” Fisher said when asked about the expectations surrounding the season.
The Aggies hope to right the ship next week as they head back to Kyle Field to face the University of Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 16, for their final non-conference game before starting SEC play.

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