Game Recap: Texas A&M Football Falls at Tennessee

Two F-15 jets from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina flyover before a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.
Two F-15 jets from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina flyover before a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. /
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Tennessee opened the quarter with a designed run for Milton that brought the Vols down within the red zone. A short run on the next play set up a second down pass that landed directly in the chest of Josh DeBerry. He took it out for a short return to the 15, where the Aggies would take over.

A short run by Moss was the first down call. The Vol pressure got home on second down, but a face mask call against the defender moved the Aggies up 15 yards instead of back by about 10. Tennessee interfered on a short pass to Stewart on the next play, giving Texas A&M football yet another first down by penalty—and putting both teams in double digits on the penalty count. Moss took the ball for about 9 yards on the next handoff, and picked up the first on a short handoff on second. Everyone was covered on the ensuing first down, so Max threw the ball away. A second down handoff was dropped for a loss, setting up 3rd and 11 just behind midfield. Texas A&M football elected to take a timeout at this pivotal juncture, and they did well to do so, as Evan Stewart hauled in a great catch to convert and take the Aggies into Volunteer territory. Another bad snap resulted in a 3-yard run for Moss, and a short pattern to Moose gained the Aggies another few yards. Texas A&M football faced down 3rd and 4, but a short pass to Evan Stewart in the face of pressure lost a couple of yards. Randy Bond’s kick from 50 yards flew to the left, and the Aggies remained down by one point with just under 9 minutes to go.

Tennessee took over with favorable field position once more and picked up a first down on the initial play. The next play was dropped for a loss on a handoff, though, and a second down run didn’t yield much more. 3rd and 9 brought confusion for the defense, though, and the Vols converted. Another pair of first down runs by Wright picked up another two chunks of yardage back to back, and the Volunteers were right outside the red zone once more. Even worse for the Aggies, Walter Nolen went down with an injury that brought out the cart. You could see the emotions on his face as he was carted off—hopefully it’s not too serious.

Tennessee picked back up with things following the injury, but immediately committed a facemask penalty to scoot their team back 15 yards. Joe Milton ran a QB draw to gain a couple of yards, but the ensuing handoff was dropped for a two yard loss. Tennessee was facing 3rd and 22 and simply handed the ball off again to move into chip shot field goal range. UT split the uprights, and the score moved to 17-13 with just under 4 to play. It was time for the offense for Texas A&M football to get moving.

The first play was a shot down the sideline that Evan Stewart pulled up on. Second down was a screen dropped in the backfield by Le’Veon Moss. Third down was a pass that sailed far over the receiver’s head and into the waiting arms of a Tennessee defensive back, who returned it down inside the 5 yard line.

Because it’s this game, however, Tennessee just moved backwards on first and second down. Third and goal came up from the 9 yard line with about 2:41 to go, and Tennessee took a timeout. They called a run up the middle that gained about three yards, and Texas A&M football was able to stop the clock with about 2:30 to go. Tennessee’s kick went through the uprights, but at 20-13, it was still a one-possession game.

Max’s first pass was a first down to his brother Jake. A holding by Bisontis wiped out a first down gain to Stewart, and the ensuing play was a pass that flew over Evan’s head. Pressure made Max move out of the pocket again, but a small outlet to Moss nearly picked up all 20 yards. Le’Veon ran to pick up the last yard and convert, but another uncalled facemask would have been another 15 had it been called. First and second downs were incompletions that both resulted in injured Vols, putting the Aggies in 3rd and 10. The pass was too high for Moose, bringing up a 4th and 10. A desperation heave was picked off, and that was all she wrote for Texas A&M football.

This was a disappointing showing for Texas A&M football. I thought there was opportunity in the run game, but they were unable to capitalize. It feels like 2022 all over again on offense at times, but the flashes of improved execution almost make it worse. This is going to be a long two weeks for Texas A&M football fans as the Ags head into the bye.

Next. Instant Reaction: A&M Falls vs UT; Fire Jimbo?. dark