Some A&M football fans have to learn to love all victories.
The Aggies’ 10-7 victory over Colorado wasn’t pretty, but it was easy to love the way the Aggies found a way to pull out the win. Even if you have to learn to love it.
What I learned
Defense can carry the Aggies: Mike Elko’s crew wasn’t perfect … well, not in the first half, anyway. The defense was near perfect in the second half and made clutch stops in the first half. The Aggies allowed Colorado just 54 yards of offense and one first down in shutting out the Buffaloes in the third and fourth quarters.
Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Antonio Johnson and the Aggie defense came up large throughout the contest.
Antonio Johnson is a rising star: The sophomore nickel back just keeps getting better. He led the Aggies with nine tackles and two pass breakups. A&M’s defense is loaded with high-level players. Johnson is one of them.
Isaiah Spiller has outstanding hands: Maybe we already knew that, but not to the degree he showed with his final two catches. He made a tough grab of a hard, low-and-away throw for a first down on third-and-8 to the Colorado 19-yard line. Three plays later, he made a nice over-the-shoulder grab on an arcing pass for the game-winning touchdown.
What I loved
The clutch defense: The Aggies rose up when needed most. Colorado had a 7-0 lead and momentum. The Buffaloes were looking to add to their lead in the second quarter. They had first down at the A&M 22-yard line, but DeMarvin Leal made a tackle for a 3-yard loss on first down. On second down, Keldrick Carper had a tackle for a yard loss. Leon O’Neal broke up a pass on third down. Colorado missed a field goal attempt on fourth down. Later, the Buffaloes advanced to the A&M 5 where they were stopped on fourth-and-one by Micheal Clemons.
Zach Calzada’s resilience: Frankly, Calzada was languishing through perhaps the worst game by an A&M quarterback since Kyle Allen’s 12-of-34 debacle in a 23-3 loss to Ole Miss in 2015. Calzada was struggling with his passing accuracy throughout the game and lost a fumble in the Colorado end zone. However, he came back on A&M’s final series to complete 4-of-7 passes for 63 yards and a game-winning touchdown pass. Overall, he completed 18-of-38 passes for 183 yards.
Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Despite the scare, the Aggies still walked away victorious with their championship dreams still alive.
Winning: It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win. True, Aggies were expected to win by a wider margin. So were a lot of other ranked teams. No. 8 Notre Dame had to rally to defeat Toledo, 32-29. No. 22 Miami needed a late field goal to edge Appalachian State, 25-23. And No. 15 Texas was soundly defeated by Arkansas, 40-21.
What I loathed
Haynes King’s injury: The redshirt freshman quarterback looked promising in last week’s win over Kent State. He only played six offensive plays before suffering an apparently ankle injury that could sideline him for several weeks.
The lack of running plays: Although the Aggies weren’t having tremendous success with the running game, giving Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane more touches seemed prudent when Calzada was struggling. They combined for just 15 rushes.
Offensive line run blocking: A&M was frequently beaten on the line of scrimmage, which at least to some degree explains the previous item.