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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Ty-wreaking havoc

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Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Senior defensive end Tyree Johnson recorded two sacks and a forced fumble in A&M’s 20-3 victory over the Auburn Tigers.

Senior defensive end Tyree Johnson wreaked havoc upon No. 12 Auburn in Texas A&M’s final home Southeastern Conference game of the season.

In front of a crowd of 109,835, the second largest crowd in Kyle Field history, Johnson added two sacks to his season total. The Washington, D.C. native now has eight sacks in 2021 and a career total of 17.5.

Senior defensive tackle Jayden Peevy said there is something special about playing defense in College Station. 

“We play defense out here in College Station,” Peevy said. “We got a lot of guys that do their role and do their part that we’re thankful for.”

Entering the SEC faceoff, the Tigers only had nine sacks against them in their season campaign. The Aggies increased this number by nearly 50 percent in their eventual 20-3 victory, logging a total of four sacks against the Alabama university.

Auburn now has 13 sacks against them, four of which were delivered on Oct. 9 from No. 1 Georgia.

A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said Johnson knows how to influence results on the football field.

“[Johnson] is playing lights out right now,” Fisher said. “That guy is playing. Sacks, plays, SEC Player of the Week … the way he’s playing, he’s making a difference, an impact in the way he’s playing.”

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound lineman was coming off an injury suffered during a third-quarter, fourth-down conversion attempt during the South Carolina faceoff on Oct. 23, after which Johnson entered the post game press conference wearing a boot. 

Junior defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal also served as a leader for the maroon and white, posting six tackles.

Leal said the amount of sacks logged against the Tigers shows how dangerous A&M can be to opposing teams.

“[Our defense is] capable of doing anything that we want to do,” Leal said. “Being able to go out there and do our job in a very violent [way].”

Johnson has played in all eight games on the season, recording seven starts. His sack total against the Tigers matches his career-high record earned in the 41-28 upset over then-No. 1 Alabama.

Following the Oct. 9 game, Johnson was honored with the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week accolade.

Peevy said Johnson has always been a go-to guy for the defense in regard to rushing the passer.

“[Johnson’s] performance was big,” Peevy said. “He came in on third downs; he rushed the passer like he always does. He’s been that guy for us all season, so he played a big role today.”

Johnson’s second sack of the ball game, logged in the second quarter, also forced a fumble from Auburn junior quarterback Bo Nix. 

The senior helped A&M’s defense obtain a total of four sacks, two forced fumbles and 60 tackles, six of which were for loss and five broken up passes. 

Johnson solidified himself as a starter for the Aggies during his sophomore year. In 2019, he played in 12 games, making 10 starts and was second on the team with four sacks and five quarterback hurries.

In his career, the St. John’s College High School alumnus has logged three forced fumbles and 17.5 sacks, good for 99 yards lost for opposing teams.

Junior wide receiver Ainias Smith said the defense’s performance in the game, including that of Johnson, was no surprise.

“I fully expected that out of our defense,” Smith said. “I feel like we have the best defense in the nation.”

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