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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M leads Arizona State 14-7 at halftime

Freshman+wide+receiver%26%23160%3BChristian+Kirk%26%23160%3Bracked+up+over+224+all-purpose+yards+and+two+total+touchdowns+in+his+college+football+debut.
Photo by Photo by Bryan Johnson

Freshman wide receiver Christian Kirk racked up over 224 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns in his college football debut.

The first half of Texas A&M’s season opener versus Arizona State did not start as fast as many had predicted. However, an A&M touchdown just before the close of the first quarter paved the way for the explosive offensive attack the fans came to see. By the end of the half, the Aggies saw two quarterbacks in the backfield taking live snaps. 
The game began with three consecutive three-and-outs and it wasn’t until over four minutes had passed that D.J Foster of ASU moved the chains with a reception across the middle of the field. Early on it seemed as though the A&M offense was not operating on the same page. An excess of penetration by the ASU defensive line paired with a couple dropped passes made three tough drives for the Aggies to open the season.
Coming into the season, the biggest question mark surrounding A&M had to do with how the newly engineered defense would perform. With one half of football in the books, it seems as though the addition of John Chavis has made a monumental impact on ‘The Wrecking Crew.’ 
Leading the way for A&M was none other than pre-season All-American, Myles Garrett. On the Sun Devil’s second play from scrimmage, Garrett sacked senior quarterback Mike Bercovici and lit a fire under the belly of the 12th Man. 
The aggressive play of the Aggie defense was anchored not only by Garrett but also freshman safety, Justin Evans, who led the team with 4.5 tackles in the first half.
On Texas A&M’s third drive of the game, the offense manufactured a nine play, 94-yard drive that was capped off by a nine-yard touchdown by senior running back, Tra Carson, with 20 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. 
ASU began their first drive of the second quarter from inside its own 20 yard line and was not able to move the chains. Following the short Sun Devil possession, freshman wide receiver, Christian Kirk, assumed his position as the lone punt returner for the Aggies. 
Kirk fielded the punt at the A&M 21 yard line and proceeded to outrun the ASU coverage all the way for six. With the punt return score, Kirk became the first freshman to accomplish the feat since 1996 when Dante Hall did the same against Iowa State. 
Arizona State first found the endzone by way of a heads-up play by defensive tackle,  J.D. Alexander, who stripped Kyle Allen of the ball and delivered it to the four yard line. One play later, Bercovici found Kody Kohl in the flats to lessen the deficit to seven points. 
Solid defense ensued for the remainder of the half, leaving the score deadlocked at a 14-7 advantage for Texas A&M. On the final drive of the half for the Aggies, freshman quarterback Kyler Murray entered the game. The former Gatorade Player of the year showed flashes of his quickness and averaged 6 yards per carry during his short stent at the helm. 
Arizona State will receive the second half kickoff. 

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  • Garrett recorded two sacks and had 2.5 TFLs against the Sun Devils. 

    Photo by By: Bryan Johnson

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