Nothing about Texas A&M’s 17-14 loss to Appalachian State last week said the Aggies had a chance to beat No. 13 Miami on Saturday. Enter quarterback Max Johnson, and A&M’s offense showed signs of life in a 17-9 win under the lights of Kyle Field. Here are three quick takes from the game:
1. Set cool to Max
Johnson, an LSU transfer, showed poise in the pocket during his first start as an Aggie, replacing starter Haynes King. The Aggie offensive line still showed plenty of weaknesses, but Johnson’s ability to step up in the pocket or deliver a pass with hands in his face were a stark difference from what the Aggies saw with King under center. There is no question Johnson’s hot hand and cool head are what the Aggies need to hitch their wagon to heading into the road-heavy stretch of the season.
2. Running right
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A&M grinded out 124 rushing yards, including 88 from Devon Achane on 18 carries. Most of those plays went to the right behind a vastly improved pairing of Layden Robinson and Reuben Fatheree II. It also helped to have center Bryce Foster anchoring the line as well as he returned from a two-game absence due to an illness.
3. Get off the field
The Aggie defense did more than enough to secure the win, holding Miami to nine points. But again A&M struggled to get off the field at times against a Hurricane squad trying to control the time of possession. Miami did win that battle with more than 34 minutes on offense, including two second-half drives of over six minutes.
— TRAVIS L. BROWN