Texas A&M Football: Watch Ainias Smith’s opening-play return touchdown

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football needed something big against South Carolina. The team in maroon and white’s entire season was banking off of a single win against Alabama a couple of weeks prior, while their win against Missouri a week later was being written off by experts.

The Aggies needed to prove themselves on their home turf against a solid opponent — they’d get the opportunity against a solid SEC team in South Carolina this weekend.

They started the game strong, holding South Carolina to minimal yards on a drive that didn’t go anywhere for the Gamecocks. Any yardage was either from South Carolina’s kickoff return or a 15-yard penalty on DeMarvin Leal for a horsecollar tackle.

They’d punt almost immediately.

A&M wouldn’t need long to prove itself though, making a huge play on their first attacking play from scrimmage.

The Texas A&M football team got an instant boost via punt return touchdown from Ainias Smith

Ainias Smith had Aggie fans on their heels on a punt from South Carolina. The Aggie return man caught a punt that was set to land within the five-yard line, something that’s usually a big no-no for college football return men.

Smith didn’t seem to care.

After a big block by his teammate, Smith managed to get enough space to move about 20 yards. At that point, it became obvious that Smith had a chance to break it big. A couple of big blocks later and he had a clear path to the endzone.

Here’s the play.

This was the third-longest punt return in Texas A&M history and the longest punt return touchdown by any FBS player this season.

Prior to the season, Smith was projected to be one of the best return men in the country. Up until this game, he had been relatively quiet. That ended against South Carolina. Smith’s punt return touchdown reminded Aggie fans and the SEC that Smith is not a guy that you should be punting to frequently.

He continues to be a threat in the passing game, so we should see Smith continue to show up throughout the night.

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There’s still a lot of football left to be played — hopefully, the Aggies can continue to dominate this football game.