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Mississippi State's Rogers and 'Air Raid' Offense Take Down Texas A&M

The Aggies fall to 3-2 on the season following a loss at home.

COLLEGE STATION -- The "Air Raid" returned to Kyle Field and worked to near perfection once again. 

Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns in a 26-22 victory over Texas A&M.

The No. 15 Aggies (3-2, 0-2) scored just two touchdowns in their SEC home opener at Kyle Field. 

Rogers, who entered Saturday ranked top 10 nationally in passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating, continued to show his growth under the direction of Mike Leach. In the first quarter, he connected with Jalen Walley for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1 SEC) up 10-7. 

In the closing minutes of the second quarter, he found receiver Makai Polk for a 15-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. Mississippi State took a 17-13 lead into halftime. 

The two would connect against in the third quarter, this time from 20 yards out to extend the Bulldogs lead to 11. Polk led the way with 13 catches for 126 yards, along with the two scores.

READ MORE: Texas A&M Playing Short-Handed Vs. Mississippi State

A&M starting quarterback Zach Calzada remained inconsistent passing, going 12 of 20 for 135 yards, a touchdown and an interception. During the first drive, a pass intended for receiver Demond Demas bounced off his body and into the hands of MSU safety Fred Peters. 

Calzada connected with tight end Jalen Wydermyer for an 11-yard touchdown on the following drive.

The Bulldogs' entered the evening ranked second in the conference in run defense, holding opponents to 77.8 yards per game. A&M running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane totaled 80 yards in the first 30 minutes. 

Spiller finished with 100 yards on 16 carries, while Achane recorded 69 yards off eight.  

READ MORE: What Changes Will Texas A&M's Offense Make Against Mississippi State?

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Calzada brought A&M back within 24-19 thanks to a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining in the third quarter. The Aggies would fail to get the two-point conversion, but would come within two after a 44-yard field goal from kicker Seth Small. 

On a pivotal drive in the fourth quarter, Calzada would be sacked in the end zone for a safety, sealing the win for Mississippi State. 

TAKEAWAYS: 

Texas A&M: Penalties cost A&M plenty of yards on evening. The Aggies were flagged eight times, giving up a total of 59 yards along the way. A&M also struggled picking up first downs, recording just 15 compared to Mississippi State's 27. 

Mississippi State: Protection against A&M's front seven was key for Rogers to have time to throw. The Aggies primarily played in a dime formation, rushing just three defenders. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal recorded two sacks, one in the first quarter and one in the fourth. Defensive end Micheal Clemons recorded another just before halftime. 

Outside of that, Rogers was near untouchable. 

Neither team was consistent on third down. The Aggies finished 4 of 11 while the Bulldogs were 3 of 10. 

UP NEXT:

The Aggies will remain home to take on No. 1 Alabama next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Bulldogs will enter their bye week before playing host to the Crimson Tide on October 16. 

Game time has yet to be announced for the Bulldogs in Week 7. 


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