While it might not have been the high-scoring game from last week against North Carolina, App State shined against number six Texas A&M winning 17-14. The Mountaineer defense allowed the Aggies' offense to score just seven points. Alongside running back Camerun Peoples' 112-yard day App State showed they could play with the big boys once more.
App State had a slow start to this game with their first couple of drives ending in a punt and missed field goal by Michael Hughes. However, towards the end of the first quarter Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King was sacked by outside linebacker Jaden McLeod, leading to a fumble recovery by App State. This fumble put App State in Texas A&M territory at their own 29-yard line. Back-and-forth penalties would occur, but two face mask penalties in a row would come to haunt Texas A&M, putting App State at their own 4-yard line at the end of the 1st Quarter.
App State would take full advantage of the field position scoring on the first play of the second quarter with a run up the middle by Ahmani Marshall. Texas A&M would immediately respond with a seven-play 75-yard scoring drive. Two big plays would make this touchdown possible, first from a 31-yard run by A&M quarterback Haynes King, and a 26-yard run by running back Devon Achane. The remainder of the half would be punts between the Mountaineers and Aggies, the score tied 7-7 at the end of the first half.
After a punt by both teams to start the 3rd quarter, the App State defense would show out again. After King threw completed a pass to Aggie wide receiver Evan Stewart, Stewart would fumble as Outside Linebacker Nick Hampton recovered for App State. The second fumble by Texas A&M would lead to an eleven-play 62-yard drive capped off with a nine-yard touchdown catch for tight end Henry Pearson. Their 14-7 lead however would be short-lived as Devon Achane would return a kickoff for 95 yards. The 3rd Quarter would end with App State possession tied 14-14.
The App State offense would return with an eighteen-play 63-yard drive ending with a field goal, putting them up 17-14. The big takeaway from this drive was the offense eating up over 9 minutes of game clock from the 3rd and 4th quarters. With 8:05 left to play in the 4th Quarter, A&M knew this would most likely be their final chance to tie the game or take the lead. After a roughing the passer penalty on App State the Aggies fought tooth and nail to the App State 30-yard line. Then as A&M looked to tie it all up with a 47-yard field goal, a miracle happened. Texas A&M kicker Caden Davis whiffed the field goal, letting App State close out the game with a 17-14 victory.
The first key takeaway from this game was the offense for App State having possession of the ball for 41:29 minutes of game clock. The overwhelming possession on offense for App State continuously eroded the endurance of the defense of Texas A&M. The second takeaway were the two A&M fumbles leading to App State touchdowns. After the loss to North Carolina, App State fans were able to celebrate this massive upset against a ranked SEC team. Next week App State will take on Troy at home, hoping to improve their record to 2-1 as App State host College Football Gameday for the first time in program history.