Aggie football says “we’re ready” to start SEC play

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M football wrapped up its final game before the Aggies open up their SEC schedule with a convincing 34-0 shutout over New Mexico. The Aggies are 3-0 and are riding an 11 game winning streak dating back to last year, which is the program’s longest since 1992.

It was the defense once again coming up big for the Aggies on Saturday. A&M posted its first shutout since 2016 and held the Lobos to only 122 yards of total offense. But now the focus shifts to the start of SEC play, starting with Arkansas this Saturday. The Aggies know they’ve got a tough task ahead with a Razorback team that is also 3-0, but the Maroon and White feel they’re ready for the challenge of kicking off their conference slate of games.

”We’re as ready as we want to be,” Texas A&M defensive back Leon O’Neal Jr. exclaimed. “It’s all about preparation. I think this defense has a lot of leaders. We really want it. You can see it. I think what Jimbo wants is the urgency. The urgency to get better every single day., not really worried about Saturday but how can we get better within this Monday? These little 24 hours that we’ve got to get better. And then Tuesday, the same way. Wednesday, the same way. That’s how you build into these games. That’s the broad picture. I think we’re doing a great job on the defensive end, but there’s so much more I think we’re able to do. We should be forcing more turnovers, quite frankly I feel like. There’s a lot of different ways we can do stuff on the field, and we have a lot of talent to do that. We’ve got to implement it more. We’ve got 9 more games left, so it’s really important we take this thing a day at a time,” O’Neal added.

On the offensive side of the ball, Texas A&M started on fire against the Lobos. In his first start, quarterback Zach Calzada threw three touchdowns, two of which came in the 1st quarter, and he threw for 275 yards, completing passes to seven different players. But the offensive fireworks started to slow down in the second half, only putting up 10 points in the third quarter. Despite the inconsistency at times, this offense is confident they’ll also be ready for the Razorbacks on Saturday.

”We’re very much capable of a lot of great things,” explained A&M running back Devon Achane. “We have an amazing offensive group. We’re always working hard, staying after practice just bonding. The O-line is really coming together as a whole unit, even though some people are out. People stepped in and they played their part and did their jobs. We all play at a standard, so whoever we play we’re just going to play Aggie football,” Achane added.

After playing at Kyle Field last year, the 7th-ranked Aggies and 16th ranked Razorbacks will return to their neutral site Southwest Classic in Arlington at AT&T Stadium. That game is the SEC game of the Week on CBS and will be televised on KBTX at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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