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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Win vaults A&M to No. 9 ranking

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Rankings
After its 52-28 throttling of South Carolina on Thursday, the Texas A&M football team moved up in the newest polls released Tuesday. The Aggies moved from No. 20 to No. 13 in the Coaches Poll and from No. 21 to No. 9 in the AP Poll — the largest jumps of any team in both polls. Tuesday marked the first time since Sept. 19, 1995 that the Aggies received a first-place vote in the AP Poll.
“We still have a chip on our shoulder,” said sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill. “People still feel we aren’t that good and that it was a fluke that we beat South Carolina like that, and I don’t think that’s it at all. I mean, I’m still trying to prove everybody wrong, too.”
“Kenny Trill”
Hill’s performance garnered national attention and left fans searching for a nickname to replace “Kenny Football” after Hill said he wasn’t a fan of the play on Johnny Manziel’s old epithet. Houston-based rapper Bun B, who popularized the word “trill,” weighed in on Twitter on the nickname: “Like the idea of ‘Kenny Trill’ but I think Coach Sumlin would agree one good game alone doesn’t make you trill. He’s on his way though!”
Heisman aspirations
Trill or not, Hill is already being mentioned as a dark-horse candidate for the 2015 Heisman Trophy.
“That’s something that I’ve always wanted to do is win a Heisman,” Hill said. “You grow up and watch all of those guys like [USC running back] Reggie Bush and [USC quarterback] Matt Leinart and even Johnny just a couple of years ago. Them winning the Heisman, that’s something that you always want to do in this game.
Hill’s awards
Hill’s school records of 511 passing yards and 44 completions in his first-ever start earned him a slew of honors this week. He was named the Co-SEC Offensive Player of the Week, an award shared with Georgia running back Todd Gurley. Hill’s 511 yards are the fourth-highest total ever by an SEC quarterback. He was also named the Tyler Rose National Player of the Week, as well as one of eight quarterbacks to be given the Manning Award Star of the Week.
Injury update
A few Aggies were injured in Thursday’s game — most notably tight end Cameron Clear and linebacker A.J. Hilliard. Hilliard, who was carted off the field after a gruesome leg injury that resulted in a plate and “nine or ten” screws put in his leg, will be missed, Sumlin said.
“That one hurts,” Sumlin said. “Here’s a guy that we recruited heavily, but we didn’t get there in time — he had already made his decision to go to TCU. He comes and sits out a year and then has a great offseason and looks great and really was a physical force for us. He can run around and play a number of positions, but a position that we needed.”
Clear also suffered a leg injury against the Gamecocks and is doubtful for Saturday’s game against Lamar.
Freshmen impress
True freshman defensive end Myles Garrett made his presence known in his debut on Thursday. The five-star recruit was credited with one sack, but defensive coordinator Mark Synder thought that stat line did not sufficiently show how dominant he was.
“The thing that doesn’t show up in the statistics is the number of times he got pressure on the quarterback and forced some bad throws,” Synder said. “He’s still got a ways to go. He left a lot of plays out there. He had the opportunity to have a three or four sack game.”
Armani Watts, another true freshman, also impressed. Watts broke up a sure-fire touchdown pass with a big hit and intercepted a pass that all but ended the Gamecocks hopes of a comeback.
“It’s who we thought he was after watching him in camp,” Synder said of Watts. “It was really nice to see. You never know how a young guy is going to respond to a situation like [playing in a big game].”
FWAA Team of the Week
The Aggies were named the Football Writer’s Association of America’s Team of the Week after snapping South Carolina’s NCAA-best 18-game home win streak.
Provided.

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