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No. 7 Texas A&M Rolls in Calzada's First Start

Aggies turn their attention to No. 20 Arkansas in SEC opener
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The Zach Calzada Era – however short-lived it may be – is off to a solid start.

Calzada made his first career start and looked the part of QB1, as No. 7 Texas A&M blasted New Mexico 34-0 Saturday at Kyle Field.

The Aggies (3-0) quickly turn their attention to next week’s showdown and SEC opener against No. 20 Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Texas A&M has yet to lose to the Razorbacks (9-0) since joining the SEC in 2012.

The Aggies’ 11-game winning streak dating back to last season is the second-longest nationally to just Alabama. Texas A&M also pitched its first shutout in five years.

WATCH: Aggies WR Demond Demas' First Career Catch Goes For Long TD

Calzada looks much better prepared for the Hogs after throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns against the overmatched Lobos. It was a striking contrast after struggling for much of the Colorado game the previous week.

“He played solid,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I think our defense was outstanding.”

A week of starter’s reps, a return home and a Group of Five foe proved a recipe for Calzada's success. The redshirt sophomore had two scoring passes, including a 70-yarder to Demond Demas, before the game was six minutes old.

Despite throwing an interception in the third quarter, Calzada finished an efficient 19-of-33 passing in his first start in place of injured Haynes King. Whether or not King eventually regains the job probably depends on how Calzada performs in SEC action.

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Texas A&M’s defense appears ready for league play. The Aggies allowed only 122 yards to the Lobos, bottling up Kentucky transfer quarterback Terry Wilson. New Mexico (2-1) had only nine first downs and didn’t get into A&M territory until midway through the third.

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The Aggies did struggle running the ball for the second consecutive game. Isaiah Spiller did get it going in the second half and racked up 118 of A&M’s 154 yards rushing.

The Aggies got on the board fast against the Lobos. Set up by a 39-yard punt return by Ainias Smith, Calzada hit Devon Achane on the flat for a 26-yard score on A&M’s third offensive play of the game.

That three-play drive was just the start. Following a New Mexico punt, Calzada let it rip to a wide-open Demas down the middle of the field. The 70-yard TD was the first career catch for Demas, a former five-star recruit who’s been slow to get on the field.

Demas finished with two receptions for 100 yards. Jaden Wydermyer and Chase Lane each had four catches. Achane and Moose Muhammed III each caught three balls. Muhammed had his first career touchdown.

Smith and Achane both left the game early, but Fisher said they should be fine for Arkansas next week.


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