Texas A&M No. 24 outmaneuvered 13th seed Miami Saturday night in a sloppy but tough game against the 12th man at Kyle Field. The Aggies scored just seven points in the second half en route to a 17-9 win as the Hurricanes settled on three field goals after not being able to find the end zone on several occasions. In doing so, Miami dropped its eighth consecutive game without conferences against the Power Five.
Texas A&M, needing a rebound victory after last week’s shock loss to Appalachian State, was also in the midst of a quarterback switch from Heinz King to Max Johnson. The idea was to limit errors, and the Aggies remained free from turnover despite a sketchy situation in the late fourth quarter when Ainias Smith dribbled a small kick but wrestled it away at the bottom of the pile. This allowed Texas A&M to drain critical time on the clock and stall for victory.
Devon Ashan was the star of the night for Aggis. The running stud shot back 88 yards on 18 buggies and had a critical 25-yard landing catch zipping through traffic early in the third quarter to make a big statement coming out of the locker room.
The important factor in the second half was Johnson’s ability as a runner. The LSU transfer, whose first start for Texas A&M, was a sack-adjusted 26 yard dash in the third quarter and took a ton of pressure from Achane in the process. This loosened Miami’s defense just enough to stay true to it while still allowing some wiggle room for the rest of Texas A&M’s offensive weapons. Johnson, who isn’t as mobile as King but is a willing runner, added just enough in a passing game that was 10 of 20 for 140 yards and a touchdown attack to Achane.
Special teams’ problems cost the Hurricanes more scoring chances and changed the complexity of their final drives in the fourth quarter. Albert Regis of Texas A&M rose to a field goal attempt by Miami’s Andres Borregales midway through the second quarter to block what would have been a 36-yard field goal to make it 10-6. It came one quarter later after Tyrique Stevenson, returning from Canes, attempted to pick up a bouncing kick only to be popped and put down at the 28-yard line. Texas A&M moved 28 yards on three plays, the distance culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by LJ Johnson Jr.
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