Texas A&M Football Shellacks Mississippi State
Texas A&M football got off to a terrible start in this game, with the Aggies giving up the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Though they deferred, due to this eventuality it was Texas A&M football’s backup quarterback that would see the field first—though even this almost didn’t happen, as Rueben Owens dropped the opening kickoff. The short handed Aggie offense took the field and immediately picked up a first down off a read option keep by Jaylen Henderson. Amari Daniels ran for no gain on the next play, but Noah Thomas picked up a nice chunk of yardage after coming in motion on second. The Aggies were past midfield at this point, and Henderson picked up another chunk of yardage with a keep. He again found Thomas on the next play, pushing the Aggies within the red zone. Trey Zuhn was called for being too far downfield on the ensuing RPO, moving the Aggies right back outside of the red zone, but another keeper by Henderson found the end zone. That tied the score at 7.
Mississippi State came out with a purpose on offense, picking up some yardage on the ground out of the gate behind their third-stringer, Chris Parson. A few false start penalties started rolling in, though, and once the Bulldogs were behind the chains, it was game over. Pressure on Parson forced a throw to the boundary, and Deuce Harmon dove to pick off the pass. After a quick review, the call stood, and Texas A&M football took over.
The next drive wasn’t quite as stellar for the Aggie offense, as they only picked up one first down before the pressure got to Henderson on a third down pass. A well-placed punt by Constantinou moved the Bulldogs all the way back to the five yard line, where they took control on offense. State was unable to get out of the shadow of their own goalposts, however, going three-and-out. The Bulldog coverage team ran into Ainias on the ensuing punt before the ball arrived, moving the Aggies that much further into State territory. It once again took very few plays for the Aggies to find the end zone, after some tough runs from Owens and Daniels, with the latter scoring after a short scramble from Henderson and outside run from Rueben. That made the score 14-7.
Things went no better for the Bulldogs on the ensuing drive. After a sack by the Aggie DL, Chris Parson threw an interception right to Jacoby Mathews. The Aggies were unable to capitalize after a third down rollout resulted in a Bulldog sack, but Randy Bond nailed the field goal to put the score at 17-7. This also brought the first quarter to a close.