Oct 16, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Tauskie Dove (86) is tackled by Texas A&M Aggies defensive back Tyreek Chappell (7) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Texas A&M overruns Missouri defense

Isaiah Spiller rushed for a season-best 168 yards and one touchdown and Devon Achane matched his season high of 124 yards on the ground with two scores as No. 21 Texas A&M notched a 35-14 win over Missouri on Saturday afternoon in SEC play at Columbia, Mo.

Zach Calzada completed 13 of 25 passes for 148 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC). Ainias Smith caught two touchdown passes while Spiller notched his fourth 100-yard outing of the season and 14th of his career.

Conner Bazelak completed 29 of 43 passes for 230 yards and two interceptions for the Tigers (3-4, 0-3). Star back Tyler Badie rushed for 68 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries and caught seven passes for 53 yards. The touchdown was Badie’s 13th (nine rushing, four receiving) of the season.

The Aggies accumulated 283 rushing yards while outgaining Missouri 431-328.

Coming off last weekend’s epic upset of then-No. 1 Alabama, Texas A&M started fast with a 21-point first quarter.

The Aggies first got on the board when Smith caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Calzada with 11:25 left in the first quarter.

Spiller made it 14-0 when he broke into the clear up the middle on a 48-yard touchdown dash with 7:55 left in the stanza.

The Aggies increased the advantage to 21 when Achane scored on a 20-yard run with 2:43 left in the quarter.

Missouri got on the board when Badie scored on a 32-yard run down the left side with 8:09 left in the half.

Calzada and Smith teamed up again — this time from 11 yards — as the Aggies boosted their lead to 28-7 with 4:45 remaining in the half.

The Tigers put together a stellar drive in the third quarter when they navigated 97 yards in 14 plays. Dominic Lovett finished off the drive with a 7-yard run with 8:12 left in the period.

Nearly six minutes later, Achane scored from the 1 to make it 35-14 with 2:33 left in the quarter.

Seth Small, who booted the game-winning 28-yard field goal against Alabama, was short on both his attempts — from 54 and 46 yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA;  Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada (10) throws a pass against Alabama at Kyle Field. Texas A&M defeated Alabama 41-38 on a field goal as time expired. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Can No. 21 Aggies sustain success after shocking Alabama?

Texas A&M is fresh off the biggest upset of the college football season and coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t want his Aggies resting on their laurels.

The No. 21 Aggies savored their slaying of then-No. 1 Alabama but must quickly turn their focus to Missouri in Saturday’s SEC matchup in Columbia, Mo.

Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) was sputtering and had fallen out of the rankings before recording the 41-38 home win over Alabama last Saturday.

“We’re not going to walk around with our chest out because we beat Alabama,” Fisher said. “We’re going to understand why we did it so we can do it against everyone else on our schedule.”

Texas A&M lost back-to-back SEC contests against Arkansas (20-10) and Mississippi State (26-22) before breaking the Crimson Tide’s 19-game winning streak and becoming the first unranked team to defeat Alabama in 100 games.

The play of quarterback Zach Calzada was a huge factor in the difference in results. He passed for just 151 yards against Arkansas and 135 against Mississippi State before rebounding with a career-high 285 against Alabama. He also matched his career best of three passing touchdowns.

“Zach Calzada played better,” Fisher said. “He started hot. He did an excellent job of keeping his eyes up. He played with great toughness. He got banged and bruised but continued to get up off the mat.”

Calzada and the Aggies will look to keep the offense cranked up against Missouri (3-3, 0-2), which is allowing an SEC-worst 37.5 points and 497.7 yards per game.

The Texas A&M offense averages 26.3 points and 376.7 yards per game. Calzada has completed 56.6 percent of his passes for 1,029 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Isaiah Spiller has rushed for 491 yards and three touchdowns for the Aggies, while Ainias Smith leads the team with 26 catches for 285 yards and four scores.

The Tigers are coming off a 48-35 home win over North Texas, when they led 31-7 at halftime.

Running back Tyler Badie rushed for a career-best 217 yards for his second 200-yard outing of the season. He had 203 in a season-opening win over Central Michigan.

He also scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) for his fourth multi-TD game of the season. Badie ranks second nationally with 12 touchdowns (eight rushing, four receiving), rushing for 667 yards and covering 212 yards on his 25 receptions this season.

“He’s probably the least-talked-about great player in the country right now,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “I mean, the guy is playing at an extremely high level. Two-hundred yards rushing, three touchdowns. I mean, he refused to be tackled.

“He’s really competing hard and he’s a special player.”

Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak passed for two touchdowns against North Texas. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions for an offense averaging 37.8 points and 467 yards a game.

Missouri has, however, allowed 35 or more points four times this season, including a season-worst output during a 62-24 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 2.

Drinkwitz said he saw progress Saturday when the Tigers held North Texas to 14 points over the first three quarters. Overall, the Mean Green converted just 5 of 15 third-down conversions.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t think we were going to transform into the ‘85 Bears overnight,” Drinkwitz said, referencing one of the top NFL defensive teams of all-time. “We’re working towards it. We took a big step. It’s a process.”

The teams are meeting for the first time since 2014. The Aggies hold an 8-7 series edge.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers (2) makes a pass against the LSU Tigers during the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Texas A&M tries to rebound vs. Mississippi State

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and his Aggies are licking their wounds after being pushed around by Arkansas in his team’s first loss of the season.

“We did not play well, consistently,” Fisher said this week about the 20-10 setback to the Razorbacks. “As I always try to say, it’s doing ordinary things better, becoming more fundamentally sound in how we do things and becoming much more consistent.”

The No. 15 Aggies (3-1, 0-1 SEC) look to get back on track at home on Sunday when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to College Station, Texas.

First thing on Fisher’s list in turning things around is getting better production from the quarterback position.

Backup quarterback Zach Calzada took over for injured starter Haynes King (broken right leg) earlier this season. The sophomore signal caller struggled against the physical Arkansas defense, finishing with just 151 passing yards and an interception in the loss.

One way for Fisher to protect Calzada is to run the football more effectively with running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. The two combined to average 5.3 yards a carry against Arkansas and are averaging 143 yards a game.

“Zach’s a new guy,” Fisher said. “We’ve got experienced receivers, backs, tight ends and all of that. We have to play better around him.”

Fisher added, “He’s got to grow.”

The Aggies also got carved up defensively by Arkansas’s big-play offense, giving up 448 total yards.

Led by head coach Mike Leach, Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1 SEC) has lost two in a row, including a 28-25 setback to LSU in the Bulldogs’ SEC opener last week.

Texas A&M and the Bulldogs have met 14 times and are tied at 7-7. The Aggies have won the last two contests, including last year’s 28-14 decision.

Mississippi State has twice knocked off a ranked Texas A&M team in recent years – beating No. 16 Texas A&M in 2018 and the No. 7 Aggies in 2016 – both games in Starkville, Miss.

Leach, meantime, is 7-4 all-time against Texas A&M, including a 7-3 mark during his tenure at Texas Tech.

“We are making progress, but we’ve got to finish drives,” Leach said. “Whether it’s offense or defense, we’ve got to finish drives.”

Quarterback Will Rogers powers the Bulldogs’ passing game, completing 75 percent of his passes for 1,454 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Makai Polk tops Mississippi State with 33 catches for 304 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

“Mississippi is playing outstanding defense right now,” Fisher said. “There giving up just 71 yards a game rushing. They’re experienced and physical up front. They’re front seven is very physical. In their secondary they have long, big athletic corners. And on offense you know Mike’s going to throw it.”

The Bulldogs could be without cornerback Emmanuel Forbes this weekend. Forbes suffered an unspecified injury in a collision with a teammate against LSU and had to be carted off the field.

If Forbes can’t play, Decamerion Richardson would likely get the nod.

“He’s still emerging,” Leach said, when asked about Richardson. “He’s doing a good job and we want to see if we can get more and more out of him. We’re always on the search for quality players to go out there and play, especially at that position.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Greg Brooks Jr. (9) and defensive back LaDarrius Bishop (24) tackle Texas A&M Aggies running back Isaiah Spiller (28) during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Unbeaten No. 16 Arkansas sends No. 7 Texas A&M to first loss

Host No. 16 Arkansas showed they are a heavyweight in the SEC, earning a convincing 20-10 victory over No. 7 Texas A&M Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

After losing nine straight to Texas A&M, the win gave the Razorbacks (4-0, 1-0 SEC) their first victory over the Aggies (3-1, 0-1) since 2012, when Arkansas became a member of the SEC.

The Razorbacks improved to 42-32-3 all-time against Texas A&M.

Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson once again led an explosive Arkansas offense, completing 7-of-15 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson added another 50 yards on the ground.

Jefferson took a hit running out of bounds on the opening drive of the second half and appeared to suffer a left knee injury. He stayed in the game until midway through the third quarter, when he gave way to backup Malik Hornsby. However, Jefferson came back midway through the fourth quarter to help the Razorbacks close out the game.

Receiver Treylon Burks led Arkansas with six catches for 167 receiving yards and a TD. Trelon Smith finished with 82 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada struggled, completing 20 of 36 for 151 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. Isaiah Spiller recorded 121 total yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown for A&M.

Arkansas’ defense held Texas A&M to 272 total yards. Razorbacks defensive lineman Tre Williams finished with four combined tackles — including two tackles for loss — two sacks and three quarterback hits.

The Razorbacks struck first on their opening drive of the game, an eight play, 57-yard effort capped by a Cam Little 46-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Arkansas upped its lead to 10-0 on an 85-yard connection from Jefferson to Burkes for a 10-0 advantage with 2:27 remaining in the opening quarter.

Arkansas broke the game open with another big play, this one a 48-yard touchdown on a wheel route to A.J. Green for a commanding, 17-0 lead with 13:55 left in the first half.

The Razorbacks were in position to get more points just before halftime, but Smith was stopped short of a first down on fourth-and-1 from Texas A&M’s 22-yard line.

Texas A&M finally got on the board on a nine-play, 46-yard drive with Seth Small making a 49-yard field goal to cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 17-3 just before the half.

Spiller broke loose in the second half, exploding for a 67-yard touchdown run, trimming the Arkansas lead to 17-10 with 7:51 left in the third quarter.

Little added a 24-yard field goal for the Razorbacks with 8:39 left in the game for the final total.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Chase Lane (2) stiff arms New Mexico Lobos cornerback Donte Martin (8) during the first half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Texas A&M blanks New Mexico for 11th straight win

Zach Calzada passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns as No. 7 Texas A&M rolled to a 34-0 victory against New Mexico in a nonconference contest Saturday afternoon in College Station, Texas.

Calzada completed 19 of 33 passes with one interception in his first career start for the Aggies (3-0), who won their 11th consecutive game and posted their first shutout since September 2016 against Prairie View A&M.

The 11-game win streak is the program’s longest since 1992 and Texas A&M is off to its best start since opening 6-0 in 2016.

Texas A&M is now 13-0 against current Mountain West Conference teams. The Aggies held New Mexico (2-1) to 122 total yards of offense, including only 33 passing yards for Lobos quarterback Terry Wilson Jr.

It took Texas A&M three plays to score its first touchdown on its opening possession, a 26-yard pass from Calzada to Devon Achane. The Aggies needed only one play to make it 14-0, with Calzada hooking up with Demond Demas for a 70-yard touchdown.

The Aggies went up 21-0 on Isaiah Spiller’s 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Two Seth Small field goals (35 and 44 yards) made it 27-0, and Calzada found Moose Muhummad III in the end zone on a 7-yard fade route with 2:20 left in the third quarter to complete the scoring.

The Lobos didn’t run a single play in Aggies territory until the third quarter, and Texas A&M repeatedly hit the Lobos for long gains on individual plays.

Spiller finished with 117 yard yards on 15 carries. Demas had 100 yards on two receptions.

Aaron Dumas had 49 of the Lobos’ 89 rushing yards, on 10 carries.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Haynes King (13) prepares to pass the ball in the first quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Texas A&M QB Haynes King (ankle) out multiple weeks

Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King will miss the next several weeks following surgery to repair a fractured ankle suffered Saturday against Colorado, according to multiple reports.

King fractured his right ankle in the first quarter of the Aggies’ 10-7 win in Denver and was later seen on the sideline in a walking boot and on crutches.

He had surgery Sunday and will be out until at least mid-October, per the reports.

That means he will more than likely miss A&M’s clash with No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 9 in College Station.

King, a redshirt freshman, is 22 of 35 for 300 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

Sophomore Zach Calzada will start in King’s place.

Calzada was 18-for-38 in relief of King against the Buffaloes. He threw the game-winning touchdown with 2:38 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada (10) looks to pass in the second quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes  at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Backup QB Zach Calzada leads late drive as No. 5 Texas A&M tops Colorado

Backup quarterback Zach Calzada threw a go-ahead TD pass to Isaiah Spiller with 2:41 left, and the fifth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies rallied to beat the Colorado Buffaloes 10-7 in Denver on Saturday.

Calzada came on for injured starter Haynes King in the first quarter and finished 18-for-38 passing for 183 yards and the score. Spiller had six catches for 56 yards for Texas A&M (2-0).

Colorado’s Jarek Broussard rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Brendon Lewis was 13-for-25 passing for 89 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 76 yards for the Buffaloes (1-1).

King was injured at the end of the Aggies’ second drive of the day. He was tackled on a third-and-4 scramble and appeared to have his right leg contorted as he went down. The freshman hobbled off the field and then limped to the locker room.

King was 1-for-2 passing for eight yards.

Texas A&M settled for a 53-yard field goal attempt that was wide and kept the game scoreless.

The Aggies appeared to have taken the lead midway through the fourth. Calzada scrambled from Colorado’s 13-yard line and was hit at the end zone as he extended his arm over the goal line. A review ruled Calzada had fumbled and the Buffaloes recovered in the end zone.

Texas A&M forced a punt and drove 77 yards in 11 plays, capped by Calzada’s scoring strike to Spiller on third and 9.

Colorado took the lead in the first quarter. Taking over on their 31, the Buffaloes used nine plays to drive down the field. Lewis broke off a 30-yard scramble that gave them a first down at the Texas A&M 19, and four plays later, Broussard scored on a 2-yard run to make it 7-0.

Colorado had chances to score on its next two possessions but Cole Becker missed a 46-yard field goal attempt and Lewis was tackled at the Aggies 5-yard line on a fourth and 1.

Texas A&M finally got on the board with Seth Small’s 41-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King (13) warms up before the game with Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M QB Haynes King exits game vs. Colorado

Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King left Saturday’s game against the Colorado Buffaloes with an apparent right leg injury.

King was injured at the end of the Aggies’ second drive of the day in Boulder, Colo. He appeared to have his right leg bent awkwardly while being tackled with 11:11 left in the first quarter.

The freshman hobbled off the field and then limped to the locker room with the help of two assistants.

Sophomore backup Zach Calzada replaced King, who completed 1 of 2 passes for eight yards.

–Field Level Media

Jul 21, 2021; Hoover, Alabama, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal talks with the media during SEC Media Days at Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Texas A&M opens promising season against Kent State

All of the components are in place for sixth-ranked Texas A&M to challenge for a Southeastern Conference title, and perhaps even aspire to heights beyond a league crown.

The Aggies are set to open a season of great promise by welcoming Kent State on Saturday in College Station, Texas. The Aggies feature nine preseason All-SEC honorees, including a trio of juniors on the first team: running back Isaiah Spiller, tight end Jalen Wydermyer and offensive tackle Kenyon Green. Junior defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal joined Green, Spiller and Wydermyer on the AP preseason All-America Team, with Green and Leal named to the first team.

Leal is one of nine defensive starters returning for the Aggies (9-1, 8-1 SEC in 2020), whose wealth of experience justifies their preseason ranking. Texas A&M does have to replace Kellen Mond at quarterback, with redshirt freshman Haynes King having just been named the starter over sophomore Zach Calzada.

“We’re going to have balance,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We’re going to try to throw it, we’re going to run it, we’re going to be all the things necessary (to succeed). You’ve got to give guys an opportunity to find out who you are, and then you’ve got to hope that those things you saw in camp carry over when those lights on the scoreboard come on and put people in the stands.

“We’ll find out as we go. I think we’re evolving into that. But right now, it’s still not time yet because we’re still evolving and evaluating players. Hopefully, after that, we’ll evolve into it.”

Kent State returns 18 starters from last season’s COVID-19-abbreviated campaign, one in which the Golden Flashes finished 3-1 to complete consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1976-77. The foundation for the Golden Flashes’ success is their “FlashFAST” offense, which paced FBS in total offense (606.5 yards per game) and scoring (49.8 points) in 2020.

The Golden Flashes have become increasingly prolific under fourth-year coach Sean Lewis, who signed a contract extension through the 2025 season in August. Kent State nearly doubled its scoring output from 12.8 to 23.9 points per game in 2018, its first season under Lewis, and then topped 5,000 yards for the first time since 2012 while qualifying for a bowl game in 2019.

Kent State set a program record for rushing touchdowns (10) in a 69-35 victory over Akron on Nov. 17, 2020, and with so much experience on tap, opens this season as the preseason favorite in the Mid-American Conference East Division — a program first. The Aggies will present a formidable challenge, but the Golden Flashes appear ascendant under Lewis.

“I’ve said from the beginning how special this place is, and we are just getting started,” Lewis said. “We have an amazing staff and a special group of young men here in our locker room.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to realize all we’re capable of doing.”

–Field Level Media