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Texas A&M's Defense Does Job Against Mizzou

Two turnovers early help propel Aggies to easy victory over Missouri Tigers

Sometimes doing just enough gets the job done. That's what Texas A&M did Saturday at Faurot Field. 

The Aggies' 35-14 victory at Missouri could be boiled down to running backs Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller combined for 292 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. 

Not that Jimbo Fisher needed to worry much about offensive production. The Texas A&M defense did its job admirably. 

The Aggies (5-2 2-2 SEC) were able to force Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak into trouble to set the tone from the get-go. Pressure off the edge from Michael Clemons, Tyree Johnson and DeMarvin Leal led to forced throws and turnovers. 

On the opening series, Bazelak threw into double coverage with cornerback Jaylon Jones coming away the football. A 17-yard return would put A&M just outside Mizzou's 20-yard line. 

Four plays later, Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada would find receiver Ainias Smith for a 2-yard touchdown.

Bazelak's struggles continued. In the second quarter, the sophomore once again threw into coverage and nickel defender Antonio Johnson recorded his first career interception. 

Johnson, a native of East St.Louis, Ill., considered Saturday a homecoming game since his high school was less than two hours away. The sophomore finished with five total tackles. Linebacker Edgerrin Cooper finished with a team-high eight. 

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Mike Elko's unit finished did make a few mistakes in the first half. Cooper was flagged with a pass interference call to negate a Leon O'Neal interception in the first quarter.

Jones was flagged with an interference call in the second quarter, placing the Tigers inside A&M territory. On the ensuing play, Mizzou running back Tyler Badie broke several poor tackles on a 32-yard touchdown to put the Tigers on the board. 

Missouri would score in the third quarter on a 14-play, 97-yard drive that culminated in a 7-yard touchdown run from receiver Domic Lovett. The drive was kept alive by Jones' pass interference penalty on a fourth down.

Otherwise, the Aggies played clean. A&M's defense was flagged just three times. Missouri gained 328 yards compared to A&M's 431. The Tigers only converted 6 of 17 third downs.

Texas A&M returns home to Kyle Field to face South Carolina next Saturday. 


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