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Three Aggies Earn SEC Honors in South Carolina Win

Ainias Smith, Tyree Johnson and Kenyon Green all were recognized this week.

The term "playing all three phases" is often used in football. For Texas A&M, the Aggies spoke it into existence. 

Three A&M players earned SEC honors for their work in a 44-14 victory this past weekend over South Carolina. Junior Ainias Smith took home special teams player of the year while defensive end Tyree Johnson split reps honors with Ole Miss' Sam Williams for co-defensive player of the week. 

Offensive lineman Kenyon Green also was recognized with Mississippi State offensive lineman Charles Cross of co-offensive linemen of the week honors. 

Smith made noise from the get-go, returning a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown following a quick series from the Gamecocks defense. On two separate occasions in past games, Smith nearly scored, but two penalties negated plays of over 50 yards. 

Smith, the do-it-all weapon for the Aggies offense, also recorded two catches for 28 yards.

"I saw the ball in the air, I looked down for a second, and I was like, yeah, I might get a return right here," Smith said Saturday. "And then, shoot, I caught it and I had a little bit of room; so I just took off." 

Johnson continues to build off his record-setting season as a pass rusher by adding two more sacks against South Carolina QB Zeb Noland. Through eight games this season, Johnson now leads A&M in sacks with six total. 

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A bigger question will be if Johnson can return for next week's showdown against No. 18 Auburn. The defensive end left with a lower-body injury during the closing minutes of the third quarter, but said he plays like that are a common occurrence in today's game. 

"Just get back to see the trainers and still just rehab on my body," Johnson said. "That's all we can do right now." 

Green, who this week played right guard, helped pave the way for two 100-plus yard rushing performances against the Gamecocks (4-4, 1-3 SEC). Devon Achane led the way with 156 yards on the ground with Isaiah Spiller recording 102 yards. Both players scored a touchdown on the day as well. 

No. 14 A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) is off this week before returning to Kyle Field to face the Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC). The Aggies are 6-5 against Auburn all-time, but just 3-5 since joining the SEC. 

The SEC announced Monday that kick-off would be set at either 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. on ESPN, or 2:30 p.m. on CBS. The official kickoff time won't be announced until this weekend following Week 9's conclusion of games. 

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