A&M's Offensive Line Struggles Against Lobos in Shutout Win; Injuries A Concern

There were bright spots in the Aggies' 34-0 win over the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday. The offensive line wasn't one of them.

The No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies shut out the New Mexico Lobos 34-0 on Saturday in front of 87,748 at Kyle Field, giving the Lobos their first defeat of the season. It was the first shutout for an Aggies defense since doing so against Prairie View A&M in 2016. 

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But the defense was never in question. It's the other side of the ball we wondered about after two slow starts in the season's first two games. Especially after struggling to score only 10 points against the Colorado Buffaloes last week, there were concerns.

A fast start brought fast points, but there are still questions, even in a big win, about the offensive line that appeared to struggle at times protecting quarterback Zach Calzada against the New Mexico pass rush.

The offense finally got the quick start we all knew they were capable of, blasting out to a 14-0 lead on its first two possessions that included all of four total plays covering 113 yards.

READ MORE: Aggies 34, Lobos 0; Game Log

But the running game struggled early, with Aggies running back Isaiah Spiller having only 22 yards on five carries at the half, and Calzada seemingly being hit on close to every drop back.

Calzada still looked uncomfortable at times in the pocket and held on to the ball far too long on some plays, but comfort in the pocket will come with experience and more coaching from Jimbo Fisher.

As the game went on, specifically in the second half, the offensive line seemed to find its rhythm, maybe due to wearing down the New Mexico defensive line. Long runs and extended passing plays appeared to be the norm late in the game for the Aggies.

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Spiller would finish the game with 117 yards on 15 carries, an impressive average of 7.8 yards per carry, with one touchdown. 

Calzada also found the extra time in the pocket beneficial, throwing for 275 yards on 19-of-33 passing, with three touchdowns and one interception. 

Injury concerns follow the blowout win, however, as Aggies star wide receiver Ainias Smith left the game in the second quarter with concussion concerns after a 50-yard punt return was called back after a review.

Smith's absence opened the door for Moose Muhammad III to see some playing time, and he made the most of it, catching three balls for 24 yards and one touchdown.

The Aggies will look to find more answers as they open SEC play and face a much tougher test on Sept. 25 against No. 20 Arkansas in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium.

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