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 Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Putting up 50 points vs letting up 50: How A&M’s offense matches up against ACU’s defense

Sophomore+WR+Noah+Thomas+%283%29+celebrates+after+a+first+down+at+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Mississippi+State+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+11%2C+2023+at+Kyle+Field.+%28Julianne+Shivers%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by: Julianne Shivers

Sophomore WR Noah Thomas (3) celebrates after a first down at Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 at Kyle Field. (Julianne Shivers/The Battalion)

With Jimbo Fisher’s firing Sunday, the Aggies’ 51-10 victory got lost in the mix. With interim coach Elijah Robinson at the helm, the Maroon and White will look to repeat its efforts from last game against Abilene Christian, a rocky team that has given up 50-plus points on two occasions this year.
Hampered by injuries in the quarterback room with starter sophomore Conner Weigman and backup sophomore Max Johnson, third-string sophomore Jaylen Henderson stepped up in his first start against Mississippi State. The Encino, California native racked up two scores through the air and showed off his dual-threat ability with another two on the ground. With Johnson more than likely out again, Henderson will be a handful for the Wildcats’ defense.
Graduate wide receiver Ainias Smith is having his best season of his career. The do-it-all receiver has made do with whatever quarterback is playing, with a career-high of 716 receiving yards so far, and with an injury to sophomore stud wide receiver Evan Stewart, Smith’s production has been much needed.
The one-two punch of running backs sophomore Le’Veon Moss and junior Amari Daniels has filled the absence of De’Von Achane. Though Achane’s numbers have yet to be matched, Moss and Daniels have been serviceable. The split touches have tallied a total of 923 rushing yards and nine touchdowns and will be on display again against Abilene Christian.
In their last game of the season, the Wildcats will have their hands full trying to stop A&M’s offense. The UAC foe ranks dead last in its conference in team sacks and fifth in total defense, giving up an average of 28.1 points per game.
Though the pass defense has been serviceable, the rush defense has waned toward the end of conference play. With many options in A&M’s arsenal on the ground such as Henderson, Smith, Moss and Daniels, the Wildcats will have a tough time figuring out their run defense.
However, a bright spot lies in that Wildcats defense: the pass defense and its takeaways. Ranked second in the UAC in interceptions, Abilene Christian has double-digit picks with 11.
Leading the charge is senior defensive back Patrick Jolly. Jolly, a UCLA transfer, has been all over the field, with 27 total tackles and four interceptions, both career-highs. He’s also been paired up with junior safety Elijah Moffett, who has 37 total tackles, five passes defended and an interception. The duo has helped the pass defense tremendously and will be looking to make Henderson’s job that much harder.
The Wildcats’ linebacker room has also stuffed the stat sheet. Junior Darius Moore, leads the team in total tackles, 56, while sophomore Reese Young has tacked on 37 total tackles. Junior Cirby Coheley has done it all with 32 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, two passes defended and two interceptions.
In their last non-conference game of the season, it will be a good first test for Robinson as he coaches his first game for the Aggies. It’ll also give Henderson more experience as he looks to play on another week before finishing out the season against the best offensive team in the country in LSU.

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