The Texas A&M Aggies and the Kent State Golden Flashes are set to battle it out on ESPNU Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. CT in College Station as the Aggies look to start their season off strong and keep their AP Top 10 ranking intact.
This is a game that the Aggies should win against a MAC team that only played four games in a COVID shortened 2020 season. Watch out for Golden Flashes quarterback Dustin Crum who is no longer a secret of the MAC after offensive success last season.
Unfortunately for Crum, the Kent State defense allowed a whopping 424 yards per game while giving up 38 points per contest.
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Kent State wins the toss and deferred. The Aggies returned only three kickoffs in all of 2020. The Aggies start on the ground to Isaiah Spiller and drive 75 yards on their first possession of the season and the game to score first, on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Haynes King to Ainias Smith. King went 6-for-6 with 49-yards on the drive, averaging 8.2 yards per pass. A&M seemed to move the ball at will against the Kent State defense.
On the ensuing Kent State drive, DeMarvin Leal gets the first sack of the season, but a face mask is called on Brian George, giving Kent St. 15 yards. Kent State is keeping the pace up-tempo on their first drive, keeping the Aggies defense guessing. Dustin Crum scrambled for 24-yards and kept the play and drive alive, but Shemar Turner gets a huge sack to keep the Golden Flashes to a successful 30-yard field goal attempt.
Kent State kept the kickoff short as they appeared to try and catch the Aggies off balance and steal a possession after the field goal. Because of that, the Aggies have great field position for their second possession of the game, at the Golden Flashes 46-yard line.
That field position resulted in a 49-yard field goal by Seth Small, giving the Aggies a 10-3 lead with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter. The Golden Flashes continue to keep the fast-paced offensive tempo trying to counter some of the speed of the Aggies.
King kept a drive alive with his feet for the first time with a 13-yard scramble late in the first quarter. Haynes King finishes the first quarter 7-of-10 for 62-yards and one touchdown. Dustin Crum is 5-of-6 for 49-yards, no touchdowns or interceptions.
In the first quarter, A&M running back Isaiah Spiller joined the 2,000-yard club. It's 10-3 Aggies at the end of the first quarter.
The Aggies start the second quarter continuing their third possession of the game, and King is 0-2 on a couple of deep balls. Good throws, but better coverage on both balls. King then runs about 40-yards total for a 14-yard gain on a scramble for a first down. We finally see King's potential with his legs.
King's arm looks great on this opening drive of the second quarter for the Aggies, as he has hit 5 targets through the air so far in the game.
The Aggies get stuffed on a short-yardage 4th down play and turn the ball over on downs at the Kent State 30-yard line. The Golden Flashes then convert a nice 8-yard pass to convert a third and long.
A nice play by Aaron Hansford on a tipped ball stalls the Kent State drive following the turnover on downs, as the Golden Flashes can find no rhythm on offense since the field goal-scoring drive.
At the 10:00 mark of the second quarter, Spiller is your leading rusher with 51 yards on six carries, while Chapman leads pass catchers with 27 yards on 2 catches. When faced with a third and 12, King comes up with a 27-yard pass to Ainias Smith to convert. Big play with King's arm.
Kent State's Elvis Hines picks off King on a forced throw to receivers who were not very well spaced, stalling the drive and turning the ball over.
King seems really poised and confident here late in the first half, as A&M is driving, before Kent State's Hines picked off his second pass of the game. Another Aggies drive is stalled.
18-yard gain for Dustin Crum on a scramble, before a targeting call on Demani Richardson that was reversed. Kent State is close to tying this game as the half comes to a close before Leon O'Neal picks off Dustin Crum.
The Aggies get off to a quick start but hold only a seven point lead at the half, after two interceptions off King. It's 10-3 Aggies. King's first-half stats are 12-for-20 for 143-yards, 1 touchdown and two interceptions. Dustin Crum is 9-for-15 for 70-yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception.
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Isaiah Spiller has 9 carries for 74-yards, King has four carries for 25 yards, as they are your leading rushers for the Aggies. Crum leads the Golden Flashes on the ground with 64-yards on six carries.
Ainias Smith leads Aggies' receiving with 61-yards on four catches.
Kent State starts the third quarter with the ball on their own 20, and go three-and-out after a dropped third-down pass by Kris Leach.
Wydermyer makes the third-down catch on third and 9 for 18-yards extending their opening drive of the second half.
The Aggies add to their score in the 3rd with a Small 36 yd field goal. The scoring drive was nine plays, 47-yards, 4:02 off the clock.
One play after having his targeting penalty reversed, Leon O'Neal picks off Crum and takes it 85-yards for the pick-six. Aggies lead 20-3. A few plays later Devon Achane goes 63-yards to extend the lead to 27-3.
The Aggies are doing a great job shutting down the passing lanes of Dustin Crum and the Golden Flashes. With less than 3-minutes remaining in the third period, Crum has thrown for just 89-yards with two interceptions on 12-for-24 passing.
A late throw results in a deflected King pass that's picked off by Kent State's Khalib Johns. That's three total picks thus far for A&M's King.
The Aggies continue their drive and score on a 14-yard touchdown pass from King to Smith, their second touchdown connection of the night. That caps off a seven-play, 53-yard drive that took 3:12 off the clock.
The Aggies are starting to dominate the like of scrimmage and wearing down the Kent State offensive line.
The Golden Flashes take the ensuing drive down the field and after having a touchdown run called back with an offensive penalty, Kent State scores their first touchdown of the night at the 8:27 mark of the fourth quarter on a Collin Schlee one-yard run making the score 34-10 A&M.
An onside kick by Kent State is recovered by the Aggies, giving them great field position in Golden Flashes territory at the 44-yard line.
Achane runs 30-yards to the Kent State one-yard line, then caps off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give the Aggies a 41-10 lead.
The A&M defense is not letting up with a 31-point lead late in the fourth quarter. They're still pursuing harder and better than the first half.
With less than six minutes left in the game, Ainias Smith makes an ill-advised play touching the ball off a bounce on the kickoff, and Kent State recovers the ball on the A&M six-yard line. This results in a Golden Flashes missed 25-yard field goal after an insane defensive stand by the Aggies.
Zach Calzada entered the game to close things out for A&M. King's final numbers on the night are 21-for-33 with 292-yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions. King also ran the ball five times for 22-yards rushing.
Calzada flashes some speed and mobility with a 12-yard scramble and then on the next play proceeds to throw the fourth Aggies interception of the night to Nico Bolden. First down Kent State.
The game ends on a Kent State missed field goal as the Golden Flashes were trying to give their kicker some confidence going into next week. That backfired. Your final score is 41-10 A&M.
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