The only thing left to doubt in Saturday’s matchup against Lamar was whether the game would even be played. 104,728 fans filled the new stadium, but were forced to wait for over 2 hours as a lightning storm 8 miles away delayed the game. When both teams finally hit the field, the fans had not left.
“I was shocked at the atmosphere. Many people were still there and ready to go,” Sumlin said. “That was a big deal because you worry about it being flat walking back out there. The fans were great. That gave us a lot of energy to start the game.”
Upon kickoff, the Aggies wasted little time going 3 plays for 80 yards. Lamar would score there only points on the following drive while the Aggies scored the final 66 points. Kenny Hill looked more than efficient going 17/26 with 4 touchdowns and 283 yards. He only played about 30 minutes, with highly touted freshman Kyle Allen taking over. Allen had a rough start throwing an interception on his first drive. However, he bounced back and ended the day going 12/16 with 2 touchdowns and 122 yards.
With the offense facing little resistance, the real questions entering the game was how well the defense would respond. After all, they had given up 366 passing yards against South Carolina the week before. And this Lamar offense had shown they could move the ball in their season debut against Grambling State. In that game, they put up 525 yards of offense while their quarterback, Caleb Berry, threw 5 touchdown passes. The defense would be tested and needed to be capable of taking away the passing game.
Initially, it appeared that the Aggie secondary had regressed once again. Caleb put together a 14 play 72 yard drive that culminated in a chip shot field goal. The Aggie secondary appeared to be in for a long night. However, the Aggie defense showed up in a big way following that drive holding the Cardinals to only 171 yards the rest of the game. What makes that more impressive is that many of the 2nd and 3rd string players were in following halftime.
The experience gained by these depth players cannot be understated as many will be looked to contribute as the season wears on. And knowing there are capable backups will instill confidence in both the players and the coaches when their time comes.
- Deshazor Everett bounced back from last week’s performance with a big interception and 4 tackles.
- Speedy Noil returned a punt 67 yards only to get stopped at the 4 yard line by the punter. He also had a kickoff return for 53 yards. His vision and breakaway speed makes him a home run threat anytime he receives the ball.
- #DrewKaser4Heisman. The All-Conference punter only had 1 punt Saturday night, but he took full advantage with his opportunity. His kick went end over end ultimately causing a fumble by the punter and an Aggie recovery.
- Redshirt Freshman running back, James White, looked very impressive in his debut tallying 11 carries for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Myles Garrett led the team with 2 sacks and already has 3 sacks on the year. This already matches the total that any A&M player had last season.
- Walk-on running back, Brice Dolezal led the team in carries and yards, including an impressive 41 yard touchdown run.
- The dominating performance catapulted the Aggies from 13 to 8 in the Coaches Poll and 9 to 7 in the AP Poll. The Aggies also received 2 first place votes.