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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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Seeing Double: Liberty Bowl opponents A&M, West Virginia see finish line of similar seasons

Memphis, Tennessee will play host to the Texas A&M Aggies and the West Virginia Mountaineers December 29th in the 56th Autozone Liberty Bowl. The air raid offenses both finished 7-5 during the regular season, but the similarities between the two schools runs much deeper.
Each school experienced a roller coaster of emotions this football season, suffering crushing losses while also pulling off some spectacular victories. Monday will be the first meeting between the two schools, but the matchup does not fall short of connections. West Virginia’s head coach Dana Holgorsen served as an offensive coordinator under Texas A&M’s head coach Kevin Sumlin at the University of Houston. Holgorsen left Houston for Oklahoma State and eventually went on to be head coach at West Virginia where A&M’s current offensive coordinator, Jake Spavital, was the quarterback coach.
The Aggies are looking to win a bowl game in four consecutive years for the first time in school history.
A&M’s sophomore wideout Josh Reynolds, a transfer from Tyler Junior College, racked up 47 receptions for 762 yards and a whopping 12 touchdowns this season which ranked him at No. 6 nationally in receiving touchdowns. West Virginia’s senior wide receiver Kevin White is also a transfer from Lackawanna College and caught a ridiculous 102 passes this season for 1319 yards and nine scores, ranking him No. 7 nationally in reception yards. The two transfers stand tall at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 and have been great assets for their respective teams. Reynolds, an obvious red zone target, and White a threat underneath both possess the talent to make big plays for their respective offense.
WVU’s quarterback Clint Trickett will sit out Monday’s game and then call it a career after suffering repeated concussions. It has been said that Trickett endured five concussions in the past 14 months. Trickett amassed 5837 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions in his four years of collegiate football. In his place will be sophomore Skyler Howard who led the Mountaineers to a 37-24 win over Iowa State in the final regular season competition.
A&M’s current quarterback, true freshman Kyle Allen, took over at the position after sophomore Kenny Hill was shut out by the Crimson Tide in week 8. He has gone 2-2 as a starter, dishing out 1028 yards, 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
While WVU and A&M are first and foremost passing teams, both have similarities in the run game as well. The Mountaineers use a combination of three backs: Rushel Shell, Wendell Smallwood and Dreamius Smith. All three running backs found themselves in the Big 12’s top-20 in rushing yards. A&M’s run game has averaged 142.8 rushing yards per game with the combination of Trey Williams, Brandon Williams and Tra Carson in the backfield.
The contest is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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