Texas A&M Beats Sam Houston State in Season Opener

Texas A&M Sam Houston State

The Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Sam Houston State Bearkats 31-0 Saturday. The Aggies got off to a sloppy start, but they were able to rebound quickly due to the talent gap between the two teams. Texas A&M definitely has some areas where they could improve before SEC play starts. Here’s a recap of Texas A&M’s win over Sam Houston State.

Quarter 1: Both Offenses Struggle

Sam Houston started with the ball and went three-and-out on the first drive. Penalties appeared to be a problem from the start for the Bearkats. The Aggies went three-and-out on their first drive as well, and they didn’t seem in sync initially.

After the Bearkats’ second drive stalled, Haynes King had two nice completions on A&M’s second drive for a total of 30 yards. Kicker Caden Davis has a strong leg, but he proceeded to miss a 52-yard field goal slightly to the right.

Quarterback Jordan Yates showed his athletic ability during Sam Houston’s short drive. He made quite a few players on the Aggies’ defense look silly, but Yates needed more help from his receivers. The Aggies looked out of sorts on their third drive as well, but Yulkeith Brown bailed them out by catching a fade from the slot for a touchdown.

Texas A&M finished the quarter with a 7-0 lead over Sam Houston State.

Quarter 2: Aggies Display Dominant Defense

Yates was lethal with his legs, but his inaccurate passes hurt the Bearkats in the second quarter. Sam Houston’s fourth drive reached past midfield, but Yates forced a pass that was tipped and intercepted by Jardin Gilbert. Still, the Aggies’ glaring speed on the defensive front and secondary made it difficult for the Bearkats in the first half.

Texas A&M’s talent at the skill positions is undeniable, but the offensive line still has some deficiencies. Sam Houston’s defense really controlled the line of scrimmage, and that was the reason why the Aggies’ fourth drive went nowhere.

The Bearkats had four three-and-outs to end the half. Offensively, Sam Houston tried to stretch the ball outside and use Yates’ strengths, but A&M never budged. Yates’ eyes were usually on Cody Chrest or Noah Smith, but they were covered well. People may say that the Aggies’ defense is still young, but there’s no doubt the unit is one of the top defenses in the conference.

Looking at Texas A&M’s offense, not much has changed from last year. King obviously has a much better arm than Zach Calzada, but he tended to force some balls; including an interception in Sam Houston’s red zone. The Bearkats’ defense had a few busts, which allowed a connection from King to Ainias Smith for 60 yards.

Evan Stewart showed his talent, especially in the middle of the field, and the receiver room looks much better. Elite play calling from offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey and decision-making from King is necessary to get better on offense.

Texas A&M went into halftime up 17-0 over Sam Houston.

Quarter 3: Texas A&M’s Offense¬†Shows Promise

After an extended weather delay, the Aggies started with the ball in the third quarter. Consistency was needed for Texas A&M, and that was shown in its ninth drive. Devon Achane finally got more rushes, and he scored his first rushing touchdown of the game to put the Aggies up 24-0.

Sam Houston tried to mix it up during its ninth drive, and the play calling was not much of an issue. The Bearkats’ receivers could not get much separation and Yates was contained, so they tried to run some motion with Smith. The talent gap between these two teams, and the difference in depth, were clear throughout the game.

King definitely needs to be quicker with processing his options. He threw another interception to Kamryn Alexander, and it was not due to targeting just one receiver like Calzada did last season. King usually favors the primary route of a play, regardless of who’s catching the ball. Nonetheless, he has to use his eyes efficiently rather than looking to scramble out of the pocket.

The Aggies ended the third quarter with a three-touchdown lead over the Bearkats.

Quarter 4: Aggies Complete The Blowout

Texas A&M’s 11th drive was much similar to the one to begin the second half. Other than Stewart, Chris Marshall is another young star who will become a great target down the road for King. Smith caught another touchdown pass from King for 40 yards to make the score 31-0.

The Aggies’ defense managed to shut out the Bearkats in this game, so it’s hard to pinpoint any issues on the defensive side. The pass defense could be a problem in the middle of the field against more coveted receivers. However, that will only be known when Miami comes to Kyle Field. Home-field advantage seems to be working great from D.J. Durkin‘s unit.

Max Johnson got some playing time in the fourth quarter, and it still feels that Texas A&M has three great options at quarterback: including Connor Weigman. The depth of the running back room is something that needs to be looked at this week. Hopefully, it’s exhibited in next week’s matchup against Appalachian State.

Texas A&M beat the Sam Houston State Bearkats 31-0 at the end of regulation.

Concluding Thoughts

The first game of the season is always exciting, but it was kind of tough for Aggies’ fans with the mediocre offense and weather interference. Texas A&M still has three more games at home before going on the road, and they can really get off to a good start, unlike last year. The high potential of the Aggies is apparent after this game against Sam Houston State, and it will be interesting to see how Jimbo Fisher‘s squad stays motivated. King throwing for a career high 364 yards is a reason for optimism. Overall, Texas A&M is 1-0 and should be content with a blowout win on Saturday.

 

Main image courtesy Dallas Morning News