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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Takeaways from the Aggies’ 30-17 victory over South Carolina

Chris Swann/The Battalion

Graduate WR Ainias Smith (0) runs with the ball towards the end zone during Texas A&M’s football game against Alabama at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

After Texas A&M’s 30-17 victory over South Carolina, there are a few takeaways to be had with play calling, offensive efficiency and personnel. Let’s break them down.
It helps being aggressive sometimes
At the end of the first half, the Aggies experienced a situation they faced at the end of the first half in the two games prior.
Against Alabama, the A&M defense forced a sack on third down with a minute and a half left, causing the Tide to have to punt. Rather than using one of its two timeouts, the Aggies opted to let the clock run and send it to the half.
Similarly against Tennessee, the Maroon and White forced a punt on third-and-21 with a little less than a minute and a half to go. However, the Aggies did not use one of their three timeouts before the fourth down or before the third and long. Instead, the clock ticked down to the second half.
For the third straight week, A&M faced a similar situation at the end of the second quarter. A&M stopped South Carolina with 1:12 left in the half, but this game it decided to use a timeout before fourth down.
On the ensuing punt, the Gamecocks committed a kick catch interference which set the Aggies up on the South Carolina 42-yard line. With the first play of the drive, redshirt sophomore quarterback Max Johnson found fifth-year wide receiver Ainias Smith for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
Another piece of aggressive behavior the Aggies played with was on fourth down. The Maroon and White were four-for-four on fourth down attempts in the game, in which one of the conversions took place in a drive where the Aggies scored a touchdown.
The Aggies should take these examples as a lesson that playing aggressively can lead to important moments in a game.
A&M’s second half offense needs work
Before this week, the Aggie offense had only scored 3 points in the second half in each of those games. This week, A&M improved only slightly, putting up 9 points in the second half against South Carolina.
A&M moved the ball a little better in the second half than they had in previous weeks, however inefficient red zone opportunities forced the Aggies to kick field goals in the last 30 minutes. The Aggies were still able to get the victory against the Gamecocks, but the last two games proved that not scoring touchdowns in the second half won’t work against top-25 teams.
“It’s definitely tough not being able to get the results that you want, putting up 3 points instead of 6,” Smith said. “Those hurt all the time but at the same time we just got to keep moving forward.”
The Aggies will need to move forward and produce more offensively in the second half to keep up with the nation’s No. 12 offense coming into this week, Ole Miss.
A&M might need to make a switch at punter
Punting is often overlooked in a football game, however, it means a lot in the sense of flipping the field and pinning your opponents in bad field position. A&M punted four times in the game for 34, 31, 37 and 33 yards, respectively.
Senior Nik Constantinou has been the Aggies’ starting punter for the last four seasons. Two seasons ago, he averaged 46.6 yards per punt. Before the game this week, Constantinou was at an average of 40.9 yards a punt but significantly underperformed that average in the previous two weeks, punting for 37.75 and 32 yards, respectively.
Constantinou has been a staple in the Aggies’ special teams, however, it would not hurt to play around with a personnel change. Sitting behind Constantinou is the No. 1 ranked punter in the 2023 recruiting class composite rankings, freshman Tyler White.

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