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Texas A&M Run Game In Sync In Win Over Missouri

Feeding Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller helped Aggies avoid "trap" at Mizzou

Texas A&M's coach Jimbo Fisher talked all week of trap games. He didn't want his Aggies to be overconfident and overlook Missouri based on recent events.

Fisher got his wish Saturday in Columbia. 

The No. 21 Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC) had answers across the board for Missouri in a 35-14 win. A&M's ground and pound attack allowed quarterback Zach Calzada to slow the game down in the second half. 

Fisher didn't care that the Tigers (3-4, 0-3) ranked dead last in the FBS in stopping the run. The Aggies were determined to do what worked best. 

“We challenged them to start fast,” Fisher said. “And we did.”

A&M didn't appear to have any issues getting up for Mizzou after the 41-38 upset victory over then-No. 1 Alabama. The Aggies went back to the basics, working between the tackles and forcing defenders to crowd the box. 

Both Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane made mincemeat of the Tigers' front seven. Spiller burst free on the opening series for a gain of 14. The following series, he'd sprint nearly untouched on a 48-yard touchdown. 

“It was an early game (on Saturday) and we didn’t want to come out and not be ready," Spiller said. "We didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder.”

Achane's speed was put on display once more. Against Alabama, his 96-yard kickoff return touchdown swung momentum back A&M's way following a blocked punt. 

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This week it felt like a foot race for the All-American sprinter every time he had the ball. Achane had seven runs of more than 10 yards. During the team's third series, he recorded four runs of at least 15 before breaking free on a 20-yard touchdown run to extend the lead by 21. 

“We started out fast, but we need to learn how to finish games," Spiller said. 

The Aggies only scored seven points in the final two quarters. Calzada threw another interception on a pass intended for Achane at the goal line before halftime. A&M started sluggish to begin the second half, allowing a 14-play, 97-yard drive aided by penalties. 

So, yes, the Aggies have work to do. Let's however look at the positives. Spiller, perhaps the SEC's top runner, hadn't rushed for 100 yards since Week 3 against New Mexico. He finished with 168 against Mizzou. 

Achane hasn't reached the triple digits since Week 1 against Kent State. He scored two times and tallied 129 yards. The two averaged more than  seven yards per run, while the offensive line provided large lanes. 

The Aggies hope to put together a complete performance -- and avoid a trap -- Saturday against South Carolina at Kyle Field. 


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