Texas A&M Football vs. Miami: Game Recap

Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher looks on from the field prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher looks on from the field prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
Sep 2, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts during the third quarter against New Mexico Lobos at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts during the third quarter against New Mexico Lobos at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

After a short lightning delay, the game between Texas A&M football and Miami—one of the biggest early-season tests for either team—finally kicked off around 3 PM Central on ESPN News. The broadcast started off smashingly, with ESPN showing a headshot of Moose Muhammad while discussing Walter Nolen.

The Aggies began the day on defense after winning the toss and deferring. Sam Matthews, the new 12th man, started things off with a bang, making a huge tackle against Xavier Restrepo after a very short return. The defense started things off with a bang, only surrendering one total yard on Miami’s first series. The special teams struck again quickly, with Jahdae Walker blocking the Hurricane punt before it was recovered at the 15 yard line.

The offense for Texas A&M football made quick work, scoring a touchdown in only three plays, capped off by a QB keeper by Weigman. Though the Aggies were the ones to kick off, they were on the board with a touchdown after only 2:30 gone in the game.

Though the Hurricanes seemed to have a third down conversion on their next series, a holding call moved them back. The Aggies stopped them short of converting, and Miami was again forced to punt.

Texas A&M football started off the next drive with a free 10 yards thanks to a Miami personal foul. After a couple of tough runs by Amari Daniels, Petrino outfoxed the defense with a pass to Rueben Owens out of the backfield that got the Aggies across the 50. After a couple of incompletions, Noah Thomas drew a defensive holding flag to get another first down. A few tough runs by Amari Daniels later, the Aggies faced 3rd and 4. Evan Stewart tried to get too fancy and came up short, however, leading to a Randy Bond 24-yard field goal to put the Aggies up 10-0.

The Hurricanes hit a big seam play on their next drive, with Xavier Restrepo getting behind Demani Richardson and into the red zone. Two plays later, a little misdirection got Colbie Young into the end zone, cutting the Aggie lead to 3.

It looked like the Hurricanes would force a three and out, but offsetting penalties on third down gave the Aggies new life. Weigman picked it up with his legs to keep the drive alive, moving the Aggies across the 50 on the next play with a pass to Jake Johnson before the end of the quarter. The Aggies moved two yards backwards over the next two plays, however, and punted in on fourth down. Miami, however, muffed the punt and it was recovered by Edgerrin Cooper. Two plays later, Miami native Amari Daniels trotted right into the end zone to give the Aggies a 17-7 lead—matching their point total from last year’s contest.

The Hurricanes again struck on the big play, with true freshman Jayvon Thomas giving up a 52-yard pass. This made the total 17-14, once again cutting the lead to 3 points. The Aggies went three-and-out, and this time there was no special teams miscue for the Hurricanes. After a big pickup by Xavier Restrepo, a holding penalty moved the Hurricanes back.

The Aggies got Miami into third and long, but a pass interference against Josh DeBerry gave Miami new life. The Aggies harried Tyler Van Dyke into running out of bounds for a loss on the next play, which, as Jesse Palmer pointed out, potentially saved the Aggies from a touchdown, as Restrepo was open on a long corner route. There was another third down sack by Shemar Turner, moving the Hurricanes back far enough to where their kicker missed a 54-yard field goal.

A third-down scramble by Weigman on the ensuing series was enhanced by a defensive holding penalty against the Hurricanes, moving A&M deeper into the Hurricane territory as time continued to wear down in the half. A missed field goal by Randy Bond proved to be quite the swing, however, as the Hurricanes moved down the field quickly and scored on a scramble drill to take a 21-17 lead before half.

The Aggies opened the second half with two successful runs from Amari Daniels to get out near midfield. A couple of catches by Evan Stewart and more tough running from Rueben Owens would move the Aggies into the red zone. Evan Stewart was stopped just short of a first down once again, leading to a fourth-and-one. Poor clock management led to a timeout before the Aggies attempted to convert in short yardage. Out of that timeout, Miami was forced to call their own after beginning the play with 13 men in the formation. On the ensuing play, Trey Zuhn flinched pre-snap, leading to a false start. Randy Bond would then hit a 28-yarder to cut the lead to one point at 21-20.

For all the special teams acumen displayed in the first quarter by this Texas A&M football team, a miscue on kickoff coverage got them right back, with the Hurricanes returning a kickoff for a touchdown on the next play to go up 28-20. A short return by Rueben Owens set the Aggies up short of the 20 yard line. A third-and-long was converted by a dart from Weigman to Muhammad, but the same play saw Chase Bisontis go down with an injury. The very next play saw Weigman throw his very first interception of his career after Ainias Smith fell down, causing the ball to sail right over his head. Miami couldn’t convert on the short field, however, and were forced into a 34-yard field goal to extend the lead to 31-20.

A long touchdown drive capped by a pass to fullback Earnest Crownover helped the Aggies claw back in the game, but a bobbled snap on the 2-point attempt led to a 31-26 mark late in the third quarter. Weigman looked very sharp on that drive, throwing several crisp passes to just the right area—including the 19-yard score to Crownover.

The Hurricanes only got four plays off before needing to punt after three straight incompletions by Van Dyke. The Aggies would get the ball with a chance to retake the lead with 1:34 left in the 3rd quarter. They immediately went deep to Noah Thomas, drawing a flag, but Thomas got rolled up on the play. Thomas was able to walk off of the field with light assistance from the medical staff and went right into the medical tent. A third-and-short ended with a forced fumble by the Hurricanes, which was recovered by safety Kam Kinchens—giving the Hurricanes yet another short field.

This time, the Hurricanes were able to take advantage, scoring a touchdown on a short throw to Jacolby George. The extra point made the score 38-26 with 12:37 remaining in the game. Texas A&M football would have to move quickly in order to stay in the game, and—down a top receiver—this was a daunting task. The Aggies would not do themselves any favors in this regard, going three-and-out on their next series. Miami got the ball back up two scores at their 22 with just over 11 minutes to go in the game.

The Canes were able to bleed the clock down to 6:28 as Andre Borregales nailed a 50-yard field goal. This would keep the deficit at only two scores, but the margins were growing thinner and thinner for Texas A&M football.

To their credit, the Aggie offense moved the ball down the field very quickly. It looked like they would be stymied in the red zone after three incomplete passes, but Weigman stood in the pocket and delivered a strike to Noah Thomas in the face of extreme pressure on 4th and goal. The Aggies were now down by only a 41-33 mark with 5:02 left, and two of their three timeouts remaining. It was now down to the defense for this Texas A&M football team to step up.

Instead, however, the explosive pass once more stung the Aggies. Jacolby George got by Josh DeBerry for a long, 64-yard score, putting the game almost certainly out of reach at 48-33. The Aggies still had a mathematical chance, but it would have to happen very quickly.

An extremely scary moment took place near the end of the game. A long pass to Ainias Smith from Conner Weigman resulted in Kamren Kinchens sustaining an injury as one of the two men in on the tackle. A protracted period ensued where Kinchens received attention on the field before a stretcher—a sight you never want to see—was brought out for the All-American safety before he was carted off with his neck supported. Prayers, of course, are being sent up for him by every Hurricane and Aggie fan watching this game. The good news is that Kinchens was awake and able to speak with the trainers.

Though things seemed dim for the Aggies at that point regardless, it really seemed like all of the air was taken out of the stadium after that. The Aggies made their way down the field, but Miami closed out the game with a diving pick on 4th and goal.

Texas A&M football returns home against ULM next week to try to get to 2-1.