Kneauxing the Enemy Texas A&M
Record: 8-3, 4-3 in SEC
by Bryan Follins
The 12th man comes to Tigertown on the final game of the season. It is the 12th man which stands in the way of the Purple and Gold’s final shot at a possible bowl and winning season.
The 12th will arrive with a pretty good defense. They bend a lot, but rarely break. They also like bending and breaking the offense of their opponents.
DeMarvin Leal and Tyree Johnson play on the defensive line. Leal, a junior has 7.5 sacks for the season. Johnson, a senior, has eight sacks.
Graduate linebacker Aaron Hansford is the leading tackler on the team. He has 81 total, 38 solos, and 8.5 tackles for losses (tfls) and two sacks.
Defensive back Antonio O’Neal is the second leading tackler on the squad with 70 stops, 45 unassisted. O’Neal has 8.5 tfls.
The biggest enemy for the 12th this season has been their own offense.
The quarterback is a fellow named Zach Calzada, a sophomore. Calzada became the starter the second game of the season because of an injury to the Aggie starter. At times, Calzada can strike the head of a needle at 30 yards with a pass. At other times, he cannot hit the broad side of a barn. He has completed 56 percent of his passes since becoming a starter. He has thrown for 1943 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In the Alabama win, Calzada threw for 285 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He threw for 135 yards, an interception, and a touchdown in a loss to Mississippi State. In the Ole Miss defeat, he threw for 237 yards, two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Usually, as Calzada goes, so do the Aggies.
Running backs Isiah Spiller and Devon Achane are solid. Spiller, a junior, has 984 yards rushing for the season, averaging 5.9 yards per rush. He is also a capable receiver with 189 yards in catches, averaging 7.6 yards per grab. Achane, a sophomore, has rushed for 861 yards this season, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Achane also has 189 yards in pass receptions, averaging 10 yards per grab.
Junior tight end Jalen Wydemeyer is an impressive tight end, whenever he and Calzada are on the same wavelength. Wydemeyer has 491 yards receiving, averaging 13.6 yards per catch.
Junior Ainias Smith is a dangerous wide receiver. He has 472 yards in receptions on 41 catches. He averages 11.5 yards per catch. Smith has made game turning touchdown receptions in Aggie victories against Colorado and Alabama.
The Aggie line had to almost completely rebuild after the 2020 season, losing four starters. They have done well. Kenyon Green, a junior, was the single returning starter, but he has been a good anchor.
The 12th is not the greatest team in America, but they are not bad. They are a rough bunch. They are going bowling. Hopefully, when the clock strikes zero in Tiger Stadium Saturday night, the Purple and Gold will be going bowling.
Copyright 2021 Bryan Follins