COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M was limited at receiver and cornerback Saturday against Miami due to suspensions. That won’t be the case Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher announced that freshmen defensive backs Denver Harris and Smoke Bouie, along with receivers Chris Marshall and Evan Stewart will be active against No. 10 Arkansas for the Aggies' SEC opener. The four players were suspended by Fisher for breaking team violations on Friday prior to the 17-9 victory over the No. 13 Hurricanes.
Stewart has been one of A&M’s brightest offensive stars to kick off the new campaign. In two games, the 5-11, 170-pound receiver has totaled 10 catches for 170 yards. Marshall, another vertical option, has recorded four catches for 41 yards.
Both Bouie and Harris have rotated in with the first-team defense depending on the formation. Harris, SI All-American’s No. 6 overall prospect, has played 77 snaps in two games and recorded five tackles. Bouie, who has yet to record a tackle, has played in 26 snaps.
A&M quarterback Max Johnson was limited with his options passing Saturday in his first start. Of Johnson’s 10 completions, four passes went to senior receiver Ainias Smith, with four more went to running back Devon Achane.
Smith finished Saturday with a team-high 74 yards while Achane scored on a 25-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the No. 23 Aggies (2-1) a 17-3 lead over the Hurricanes.
Of A&M’s 624 receiving yards this season, 461 have come on completions to Smith, Stewart, Marshall and Achane. Sophomore receiver Yulieth Brown is the only other receiver with more than 50 yards and three catches.
The Aggies received a boost of confidence in its run game with the return of offensive lineman Bryce Foster. Foster had missed the first two starts with an undisclosed injury but returned just in time to help the Aggies get back on track.
Texas A&M Loses Star WR Ainias Smith For Remainder Of Season
Ainias Smith might have played his last down in College Station.
Entering Saturday, Achane had averaged 3.4 yards per attempt to begin the year. Against the Hurricanes’ defense, he totaled 88 rushing yards and averaged 4.9 yards per play.
“[Bryce] has gotten much better,” Fisher said. “I think he’s grown maturity wise and that’s due to experience and knowledge on what’s going to happen and why it happens. He’s in good shape now but he’s got to get in better shape and keep getting back to [full strength]. I think he’s going to really grow.”
Fisher said that linebacker Andre White (lower body) would not return to practice this week. Defensive back Antonio Johnson is expected to be ready for Saturday after suffering an injury late in the fourth quarter against Miami.
Kickoff on Saturday is set for 6 p.m.
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