The Texas A&M Aggies crushed the Missouri Tigers in their matchup at Columbia, Missouri Saturday. The Aggies finally looked like a complete team in this game, and the running backs again carried the load. Zach Calzada‘s performance was not similar to that of the Alabama game, but he was an effective game manager for Texas A&M’s offense. If he continues to play like that, the Aggies can definitely win the rest of their games. Check out a quarter-by-quarter analysis of Texas A&M’s dominant win over Missouri.
Quarter 1: Texas A&M Comes Out Rolling
Texas A&M began its first drive near the red zone. Isaiah Spiller picked up from his performance last week, and his two rushes for 15 yards got the Aggies in a goal-to-go situation. Calzada threw the ball to Ainias Smith from two yards out for Texas A&M’s first touchdown of the day.
The Aggies’ second drive felt similar to their game-tying drive in the Alabama game. Texas A&M started with the ball at its 11-yard line. Calzada got the ball to his two primary pass-catchers: Demond Demas and Jalen Wydermyer. These plays led the Aggies past midfield, and Spiller finished the drive with a 50-yard touchdown to put Texas A&M up 14-0.
Devon Achane got back into action for the Aggies on their third drive. In fact, Achane had five rushes for 70 yards during this drive. Consequently, Texas A&M scored another touchdown to go up by three scores.
Missouri started off with the ball in the first half. Texas A&M’s defense did give up 38 points to Alabama last week, but the defense locked up this week. On the first drive, Connor Bazelak managed to get a couple completions to move the Tigers down the field, but an offensive penalty pushed Missouri back. As a result, Bazelak threw a miscalculated interception to Jaylon Jones, who returned the ball and put the Aggies in good field position.
Unsurprisingly, Tyler Badie only had one rush during Missouri’s first two drives. Bazelak again threw two completions on the second drive, but another penalty on a short-yardage situation forced the Tigers to punt.
Leon O’Neal Jr. intercepted a pass on Missouri’s third drive, but it was called back due to a defensive penalty. Badie rushed the ball three times on this drive, but the Aggies’ defense front shut him down upfront. Another incompletion by Bazelak on third down led Missouri to punt; three consecutive punts by Missouri in the first quarter.
Michael Cox was featured in the running game for the Tigers during their fourth drive. He had two rushes for 25 yards, but another interception by Bazelak abruptly ended the drive; Antonio Johnson intercepted the pass.
Texas A&M led 21-0 over Missouri heading into the second quarter.
Quarter 2: Missouri Strikes Back
The Aggies’ fourth drive was a fond reminder of their offense against Arkansas and Mississippi State. A lack of success in the running game on this drive led to Seth Small attempting a long field goal; he missed it, giving Missouri a good field position.
For some reason, Texas A&M chose to rely on its passing game during its fifth drive. Expectedly, this decision by Jimbo Fisher led the Aggies to a three-and-out. The passing game is just not Texas A&M’s identity and play-action is a product of the running game.
After two unsuccessful drives, the Aggies went back to the running game with Spiller, who got the ball near midfield. From there, Calzada had three big passes to his running backs to get Texas A&M back in the red zone. Calzada threw his second touchdown to Smith to put Texas A&M up 28-7.
On Texas A&M’s seventh drive, Achane started off strong with two rushes for 20 yards. Calzada proceeded to throw an interception to Jaylon Carlies, ending the Aggies’ drive.
Again, penalties were a hindering factor throughout the game for Missouri. Another offensive holding penalty on the Tigers’ fifth drive led them to a third-and-long situation, and they failed to convert; five straight punts to start the game for Missouri.
Missouri’s sixth drive got the Tigers back in the game. A defensive pass interference penalty led Missouri into Texas A&M’s territory. Badie scored Missouri’s first touchdown, rushing the ball into the end zone from 30 yards out.
Missouri went three-and-out on its seventh drive. The inability to convert on third down continues to be a problem for the Tigers.
Badie got most of the action during the Tigers’ eighth drive. Missouri nearly got the ball to the 50-yard line before the end of the half.
Texas A&M went into halftime up 28-7 over Missouri.
Quarter 3: Texas A&M Keeps Control
Texas A&M started off with the ball in the second half. On the Aggies’ eighth drive, they were forced to punt due to a false start penalty that pushed them back before nearing midfield.
Texas A&M’s ninth drive seemed unpromising at first due to a second-and-27 situation after a sack by the Tigers’ defense. However, Calzada made a great pass to Smith for 20 yards, and this play continued the Aggies’ drive. Achane carried most of the load after Texas A&M reached Missouri’s territory, and he rushed for another touchdown to put the Aggies up 35-14.
Missouri’s first drive of the second half began at its three-yard line. During the Tigers’ ninth drive, receiver Tauskie Dove had some big receptions to get Missouri into the red zone. Dominic Lovett rushed the ball in for a touchdown to make the score 28-14.
The Tigers started their 10th drive down 35-14. Bazelak made some errant throws, which put Missouri in a tough third-and-long situation. Eli Drinkwitz chose to run the ball with Badie, leading the Tigers to punt yet again.
Texas A&M went into the fourth quarter up 35-14 over Missouri.
Quarter 4: Texas A&M Finishes Missouri
The Aggies started their 10th drive backed up near their end zone. Texas A&M began to grind out the clock by rushing the ball with Achane and Spiller. Calzada threw a few incomplete passes on this drive, and Small missed yet another field goal.
Texas A&M’s 11th drive was quick as Spiller got two carries, and Calzada threw an incomplete pass to make the Aggies punt.
Texas A&M finished the game with its 12th drive. Amari Daniels got the bulk of carries and picking up the first down helped the Aggies to end the game.
Missouri began its 11th drive at its 40-yard line. Receiver Chance Luper caught a couple of passes to lead the Tigers into the Aggies’ territory, but an intentional grounding penalty forced the Tigers to punt. Missouri had some sustainable drives, but mistakes on second and third downs hurt the Tigers.
Missouri’s 12th drive was more of the same. Bazelak got the ball downfield, but a false start penalty again pushed the Tigers back. It’s hard to find any composure in this Missouri team, and this goes back to its North Texas game from last week. The Tigers’ offensive line is just disappointing. Nonetheless, Missouri did have an opportunity to convert on fourth-and-three, but the Tigers failed to convert.
Texas A&M ended the game with a 35-14 win over Missouri.
Overall, this was an impressive effort by the Texas A&M Aggies with a complete team performance to beat the Missouri Tigers. Next week, the Aggies will head back home to square off against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Texas A&M is capable of winning the rest of their games, but the Aggies need to approach every game with the same mindset as their last two matchups.