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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

Waiting before the storm

Head+Coach+Jimbo+Fisher+gets+heated+by+a+call+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+10%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher gets heated by a call at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Following its loss against Appalachian State, Texas A&M prepares to face a 2-0 Miami team who sits No. 4 in the ACC Coastal and No. 13 in the overall AP rankings after its match against Southern Miss. The Aggies moved to 1-1 and dropped to No. 24 in the AP ranking after their performance.

“Give credit to a very good App State team,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “They played a very good game, deserved to win. We did not. We did not execute to the level we needed to execute to win the game. I’m very disappointed in how we played and how we did. We had opportunities to win the game, and should have played much better.”

The Hurricanes have amounted a total of 100 scored points in its last two games. The Miami offense is headed by sophomore quarterback Tyler Van Dyke who had a 81.3% completion rate against Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Sept. 3. 

Surrounding Van Dyke is a receiver core who has 20 receptions for 281 yards led by sophomore wide receiver Xavier Restrepo, junior wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr. and sophomore running back Henry Parrish Jr. 

Despite their impressive offensive showing so far, the Hurricanes have spent their time preparing for the match against the Aggies by analyzing their performance and space to improve, rather than stressing about the impending environment of Kyle Field.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for [A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher],” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “They are a very talented football team. Most importantly, we need to go back and assess our film. Where are our holes? Where could we have been better today? Where can we firm up the things that we can be better at so we can operate at a high level in a very hostile environment, as we know, against a really talented football team?”

After a 40-minute defensive campaign against App State, the A&M defense must prepare to face a Miami team who has also dominated field possession for its last two games. After kick-starting its rush game against App State forcing four quarterback hurries, the Aggies put the defensive line to the test against the Hurricane offense and Van Dyke who has seven rush attempts for a total of minus-19 yards.

“I feel like we should do a better job at just playing hard,” senior defensive back Demani Richardson said. “It’s one game. We lost it, we have to live and learn from it … we’ve just got to keep moving forward so we can keep getting better, so one game won’t turn into two games, two into three.”

The maroon and white will need to recover from their offensive performance against the Mountaineers, only accumulating 14 points and losing three of four fumbles. 

Outside of the performance of sophomore quarterback Haynes King, who went 13-for-20 for only 97 yards, the main offensive struggles for the Aggies fell on the offensive line who allowed two sacks and five tackles for a loss. However, with the return of sophomore offensive lineman Bryce Foster, A&M holds a chance to hold off an aggressive Hurricane rush game who has two sacks and six tackles for a loss this season.

“I have confidence that we’ll get right back on the horse,” junior offensive lineman Layden Robinson said. “That’s going to determine our character, how we get back up after we get knocked down. It’s not always about how you are in the victories, it’s how you are in the losses. So, I feel like we’ve just got to attack this week as an offensive line, bear down and make sure we’re in each other’s corners during these dark times.”

As A&M’s SEC schedule rapidly approaches, the Aggies need to buckle down now before it becomes too late. Facing a top-15 team in Miami, Week 3 could prove pivotal.

The late-night game will be televised on ESPN for national viewing, and kickoff for the match is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. 

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