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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Seth Small boots game-winning field goal to lead Aggies in upset over No. 4 Florida

Photo by Angelina Alcantar

Junior place kicker Seth Small kicked a 26 yard field goal to win the game against the University of Florida. 

With a 26-yard field goal in the final seconds, No. 21 Texas A&M upset 4 Florida At Kyle Field on Saturday.
Following his game-winning kick, junior kicker Seth Small said his success was a team effort.
“First of all, to God be the glory,” Small said. “I was really excited to go out there and win the game for us, but I keep my composure. I was a little nervous, but more excited than anything, but I can keep my composure because I trust the guys around me. I’m just thankful I got the opportunity to finish the game for us.”
Senior quarterback Kellen Mond also had a big night, breaking Jerrod Johnson’s 8,011 passing yards record set between 2007-2010 to become A&M’s new career leader in passing yards.
“I honestly didn’t even know until close to the end of the game,” Mond said. “It’s such a big mark that I hit. I just look back, and think about all of the coaches that I’ve had, and all the players that I have played with, just guys who have helped me get to that point. I couldn’t thank those guys enough. I plan on continuing to move forward and continuing to push these new guys.”
Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller was the Aggies’ leading rusher with 27 carries, 174 yards, and two of A&M’s seven touchdowns.
“I think this was a real big confidence booster. It’s just one game, but we gotta come back,” Spiller said. “I feel like we really gained our identity today, our confidence, and we are just going to keep pushing into next week.”
The Gators were first to receive the ball and wasted no time getting down the field. A 17-play drive ended with a 5-yard pass by the Gators’ quarterback Kyle Trask to tight end Kyle Pitts. The lead didn’t last long as the Aggies were quickly able to tie the game when Mond threw a pass to freshman wide receiver Chase Lane for 11 yards. The first quarter ended with the Gators having a 14-7 lead with the Aggies entering the second quarter on second down with five yards to go.
Despite a rocky start at the 6-yard line that transitioned into the second quarter, the Aggies were able to score another touchdown within 14 plays for 94 yards. Mond passed the ball to sophomore wide receiver Caleb Chapman for a 2-yard touchdown. Toward the end of the second quarter, the Gators’ running back Nay’Quan Wright ran in a 1-yard touchdown. The Aggies’ Seth Small added three points on the board for A&M with a 19-yard field goal making the final score of the half 21-17.
A&M received the ball at the beginning of the third quarter, but freshman punter Nik Constantinou had to quickly punt it off for 36 yards. Downed at the Florida 10-yard line Trask quickly got the ball down the field within six plays and threw a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Kadarius Toney for another touchdown.
Sophomore running backs Spiller and Ainias Smith were the main driving forces for the A&M offense, and together rushed for a total of 78 yards on a 10-play drive. Mond handed the ball off to Spiller who ran in a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 28-24. The Gators’ offense didn’t last long as they suffered from a 3-and-out and the ball returned to the Aggies.
With 3:17 left on the clock the Aggies weren’t able to score during the end of the third quarter, but kept the drive going into the start of the fourth. The drive mainly consisted of Spiller being handed the ball or Mond who kept and rushed down the field. Spiller ran in a 19-yard touchdown for the Aggies, putting them back in the lead. The Gators were able to tie the game again with a 53-yard field goal by kicker Evan McPherson.
The Gators once again gained the upper hand after Smith fumbled and Florida’s defensive back Marco Wilson recovered, and returned the ball for four yards. Florida then took the lead 38-31. With 4:30 left in the game Mond threw a 51-yard pass to Chapman which secured another tie. The Gators’ Malik Davis fumbled on the third play of the drive which was recovered by A&Ms DeMarvin Leal, and returned for two yards to the Florida 48-yard line.
There was 3:40 left in the game, and the fumble by the Gators opened up the opportunity for the Aggies to drive the ball down the field, and allowed Small to kick the game winning 26-yard field goal that ended the game 38-41.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said he was proud of how his players persevered despite mistakes and self-inflicted wounds. Fisher commended the Gators’ performance, and their head coach Dan Mullen, but noted when it comes to the Aggies, he isn’t happy.
“We won a big game, but we didn’t play as well as we could play,” Fisher said. “We got a lot to work on. We’re going to get lined up tomorrow, look at the film, correct the mistakes, and get lined up to play Mississippi State. It’s great to win, and you should expect to win, and so we will line up. We left a lot of plays out there, a lot of undisciplined things out there. There’s a lot of things that need cleaned up, and we can get better because we got to get on the road to play a really good Mississippi State team.”
The Aggies will travel to Mississippi State to face the Bulldogs Saturday, Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.

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