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Cessna: Aggies bag big one on road with good all-around performance

Cessna: Aggies bag big one on road with good all-around performance

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Texas A M Mississippi St Football

Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller (28) runs upfield past Mississippi State linebacker Tyrus Wheat (2) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Texas A&M is starting to play with confidence, contagious confidence.

Few would have been surprised if Mississippi State’s 60-yard interception return for a touchdown had sparked the Bulldogs to a fourth straight victory over the Aggies at Davis-Wade Stadium. But four plays after the Aggies had their lead cut to 14-7, they were kicking an extra point to make it 21-7 en route to an efficient but resounding 28-14 victory.

“No one was really saying anything,” senior tackle Carson Green said of the Aggies’ response to Emmanuel Forbes’ 60-yard interception return for a TD early in the third quarter. “The biggest thing was guys catch your breath. Let’s get a water. Let’s go.”

It took A&M only 93 seconds to regain its two-touchdown lead. Redshirt freshman Chase Lane had a 19-yard, back-shoulder catch. Then against the blitz Lane made a catch across the middle just 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage that he turned into a 51-yard dash to the end zone.

Talk about changing momentum.

A&M had passed for only 48 yards before that drive, but the aggressive answer made it a complete victory. The two catches were also Lane’s only receptions for the day, and while senior quarterback Kellen Mond was only 13-of-23 passing for 139 yards, he was at his best after the interception.

A&M’s defense, which played its best game of the season, put a bow on the victory by setting up the last score with a fumble forced by linebacker Buddy Johnson that defensive tackle Jayden Peevy picked up and returned 19 yards to the Mississippi State 8-yard line.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Peevy couldn’t find the end zone for his first touchdown, but the Aggies scored a huge victory.

A week ago, the Aggies won a 41-38 shootout over Florida for the program’s first victory over a top five team in six years. The challenge for A&M on Saturday was building on it.

They did it with an all-around effort led by the defense, which allowed only 217 yards and one score.

A week ago, A&M had 221 yards at halftime against Florida but trailed 21-17. Against Mississippi State, A&M had only 123 yards but had a 14-0 lead and was dominating play. It’s not about style but winning.

Last week’s victory made national headlines, but Saturday’s victory was just as important, maybe more so the way it unfolded.

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