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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Worst matchup on this side of the river: A&M offense vs Mississippi State defense

Head+Yell+Leader+Ethan+Davis+high+fives+Freshman+RB+Rueben+Owens+%282%29+after+he+scores+a+touchdown+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+vs.+South+Carolina+at+Kyle+Field+on+Satuday%2C+Oct.+28%2C+2023.
Photo by Photo by Jaime Rowe

Head Yell Leader Ethan Davis high fives Freshman RB Rueben Owens (2) after he scores a touchdown during Texas A&M’s game vs. South Carolina at Kyle Field on Satuday, Oct. 28, 2023.

A struggling Texas A&M offense matches up against a lackluster Mississippi State defense this Saturday. It will come down to execution this week for both sides.
Sophomore quarterback Max Johnson got battered last week facing the No. 10 Ole Miss Rebels. This led many to question his chances of starting under center this week against the Bulldogs.
However, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that Johnson is healthy and if all goes well this week in practice, should be the starter taking snaps this weekend. Johnson had highs and lows last week in Oxford, Mississippi and will look to get the job done for offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino.
The Aggies did have some success when running the ball. However, an injury to sophomore running back Le’Veon Moss could see an increase in carries for junior running back Amari Daniels and freshman running back Rueben Owens.
Mississippi State has the 46th ranked rushing defense allowing 1,189 yards on the ground this season. However, it has allowed the seventh most rushing touchdowns. This could be the chance for a breakout game from any of the A&M running backs.
The Bulldogs also allow the seventh-most yards per play with 3.79 and the fifth-most rushing yards per game. This means that if there was ever a chance for the Aggies to prosper on the ground, it is now.
The possible return of sophomore wide receiver Evan Stewart could be vital for the Aggies’ passing game as he missed last week. Graduate wide receiver Ainias Smith has been on fire this season and will look to lock in to unleash his inner dog this week at Kyle Field.
Sophomore Jake Johnson has proven how strong of a connection he has with his brother playing quarterback. All three of his touchdowns this season came from his built-in best friend throwing the ball.
Mississippi State senior linebacker Jett Johnson leads his squad in tackles and is second in sacks. Proving to be all over the field for the Bulldogs this season. Johnson is the no-doubt defensive MVP for his team, with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He has done everything and more for defensive coordinator Matt Brock.
Another Bulldog who has been feasting on defense this season is senior safety Shawn Preston Jr. with 44 total tackles, three interceptions and two force fumbles. If Mississippi State wants success on the defensive side of the ball, it needs to let the dogs out.
It will come down to execution for whoever wants to get the win on Saturday, and Mississippi State’s defense will not have the ring of cowbells to rely on. A&M will need better protection up front to keep Johnson upright and sling the ball to their artillery of pass catchers.

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Matthew Seaver
Matthew Seaver, Sports Reporter
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