Texas A&M runs past State for second straight win
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Isaiah Spiller ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for two scores to help No. 11 Texas A&M beat Mississippi State 28-14 on Saturday.
Texas A&M (3-1) led 14-0 at the half and had 325 yards of total offense in the game. Ainias Smith caught five passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. Chase Lane caught two passes, including a 51-yard touchdown reception in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Mississippi State (1-3) had little offensive rhythm for the third straight game. The Bulldogs' first touchdown came on Emmanuel Forbes' interception return in the third quarter.
Bulldogs coach Mike Leach benched starting quarterback KJ Costello midway through the second half for freshman Will Rogers, same as he did last week in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky. Rogers connected with Malik Heath for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M's defense continually disrupted the line of scrimmage, finishing with six sacks and eight tackles for loss. Mississippi State had minus-2 yards rushing and 217 yards of total offense.
Post Game Notes
- Texas A&M's veteran offensive line has gone three straight games, including 120 pass attempts, since last giving up a sack. The only sack allowed by the unit this year came in the second quarter of the Vanderbilt game.
- The A&M defense tallied a season-high six sacks in the game, the most since the 2018 season against both Kentucky and LSU.
- Over the last two games A&M has gone 9-of-10 in the red zone, scoring seven touchdowns and a pair of field goals.
- Mississippi State's -2 rushing yards on the day was the fewest allowed by the Aggie defense in an SEC game since Auburn finished with 19 yards on the ground in 2018.
- The last time an A&M opponent finished the game with negative rushing yards was in 2004 when Wyoming finished with -3 yards.
- The A&M defense did not allow Mississippi State to run a play in the red zone.
- The victory over Mississippi State was A&M's first in Starkville since the 2012 season.
- Today's captains at Mississippi State were DL Micheal Clemons, OL Carson Green and OL Ryan McCollum.
- With the victory, senior QB Kellen Mond moved to 25-13 for his career as a starter, which ties him with Kevin Murray (1983-86, 25-6-1) and David Walker (1973-74, 76-77, 25-9) for second on A&M's all-time list.
- Sophomore RB Isaiah Spiller scored a pair of first-half touchdowns for the fourth multi-touchdown game of his career.
- Spiller finished the game with 114 rushing yards, eclipsing the century mark for eighth time in his career and third time this season.
- Freshman WR Chase Lane hauled in a 51-yard pass from Mond for his longest reception and second touchdown of the year.
- Senior LB Buddy Johnson continued to lead the A&M defense, filling out the stat sheet with a career-high 12 tackles, as well as a sack, a forced fumble for the second straight game and two breakups.
- This was the fourth straight game Johnson has led the team in tackles and the fifth time in his career he has reached double figures in the category.
- Sophomore DL DeMarvin Leal tripled his career high with three QB hurries on the day, also adding his first sack of the season.
- Sophomore S Brian Williams entered the game with two career tackles and finished the Mississippi State game with a career-high four takedowns, including his first career sack.
- Senior DB Myles Jones had an interception in the first quarter, marking his first of the season, fourth of his career.
- True freshmen made an impact on both sides of the ball against Mississippi State as RB Devon Achane had his first career carry, DL McKinnley Jackson batted down two passes and S Antonio Johnson made four tackles.
- Sophomore Chris Russell Jr. blocked a Mississippi State punt in the second quarter to set up A&M's second touchdown of the game. This was the first blocked punt since Roshaud Paul and Deshawn Capers-Smith blocked a Wake Forest punt at the end of the 2017 season.
Jayden Peevy on...
...dominance of line play:
"I felt great, just because of practice. We practiced well this week Mike Elko had a great game plan and we just practiced real hard this week to have a great game."
...getting push with a three man rush:
"We had a great rotation, me and McKinnley Jackson were just in there pushing with Micheal Clemons and DeMarvin Leal. We all had a good game today so it was great to see everybody play hard."
...indication of practice last week to be able to rush the pass/fumble recovery:
"We practiced on pass rush all week, that was the main focus and get to the quarterback. I've never had a touchdown before and I was that close, it was gonna be my first one. I didn't know who was behind me and I was just trying to run, trying to pick my legs up and then some."
...to come in here and win for the first time in eight seasons:
"Any win on the road is a great win for us. Haven't won in eight years, that's something big for us and I didn't know that. I'm glad we accomplished that and this win is a big check mark for us."
Carson Green on...
...expectation of having success running the ball early:
"The whole week we knew the big emphasis was that we we needed to show the whole world that last week we won that game and that they didn't lose it. It was a tough game but we needed to show that we're also a tough team, so all week the big emphasis was that we needed to run the ball. We made an emphasis last week, we needed to make another emphasis this week that we can run on anybody. Last week we practice pretty hard, Coach Fisher is putting us in good formations and good running set so we can get those yards that we need."
...on when the Aggies are a run-first team:
"Our main joke is guy's we need to run the ball or he's going to want to pass the ball and I don't think any o-lineman really likes passing the ball, who wants to get tee-ed off when some guys running at you five, they're doing twist and everything. Our big thing is guys we need to make sure that we show him we can run the ball so he doesn't want to call pass plays because he loves passing the ball to receivers."
"I didn't know that Peevy was that fast. Honestly this was a great team win, defense definitely earned that win. They busted their ass and did a great job, they got a lot of big turnovers for us and the punt block was a big turnover. The offense at the end just had to run the clock out, it was just a big overall team win that we needed."
...on the growth of the team:
"It's just a different year, this team has a lot of seniors and I think we're just really close. There was a lot of stuff going on, quarantine either killed teams or helped teams out and I think in the end it helped us. We ended up being a lot closer to each other, Braden White stepped up as a leader and made some different stuff. We had a couple funny things we'd do during fall camp, like one is itch your boy and Buddy Johnson came up with that. You got learn more about people and the team got closer as a whole. This year we aren't cratering, we know we have each other's backs. If the offense is hurting, the defense knows they have to step up and if the defense is hurting, the offense knows that we have to keep it going. Last week it was the offense is rolling but defense just had to get one stop for us and they did it. Same for this week, defense really took the game but we knew at the end the offense had to run out the clock and that's what we did."