Rapid Reaction: Texas A&M jumps on New Mexico early, cruises to victory
Texas A&M answered an early wake-up call on Saturday, drubbing New Mexico 34-0 in an 11:00 a.m. start at Kyle Field.
The No. 7 Aggies (3-0) wasted little time in taking control. Unlike last week when they didn’t reach the end zone until their last drive of the game, they jumped out to a 14-0 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the first quarter and never looked back, sending New Mexico (2-1) to its first loss of the season.
Texas A&M is 5-0 all-time against the Lobos and 13-0 vs. Mountain West teams, of which New Mexico is a member.
It’s the Aggies’ first 3-0 start under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The last time the Aggies started a season 3-0 was in 2016 when they opened 6-0. It was also the 11th consecutive victory, the longest win streak at Texas A&M in 29 years. The Aggies won 12 straight in 1992.
They’ll have a chance to equal that streak next Saturday when they open SEC play against Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Zach Calzada, stepping in and stepping up for injured quarterback Haynes King, wasted little time in establishing a rhythm. He completed his first 3 passes for 112 yards, including back-to-back touchdown passes. Calzada threw 26 yards to Devon Achane out of the backfield for the first score, then on the Aggies’ next offensive play, found Demond Demas for a 70-yard touchdown.
It was Demas’ first pass reception at Texas A&M. With Caleb Chapman (knee) out because of injury, the freshman stepped up, making his first career catch a meaningful one. It’s the longest play of the season so far for Texas A&M.
The Aggies are now 20-0 when leading after the first quarter during the Fisher era.
Moose Muhammad III also caught his first TD pass, a 7-yarder from Calzada late in the third quarter to extend the lead to 34-0.
New Mexico attempted to move the ball like Colorado did last week on the Aggies’ defense. They tried to stretch it out and outrun the Aggies to the edge. But the Lobos could neither seal nor outrun their more athletic hosts. Kentucky transfer quarterback Terry Wilson gained a few yards on the ground for New Mexico, but nothing significant as the Aggies’ defense turned in its usual outstanding game.
Isaiah Spiller had a big game. He capped a more typical Aggies drive — 60 yards in 12 plays — with a 5-yard touchdown run before halftime, and coupled with a Seth Small 35-yard field goal the Aggies enjoyed a 24-0 lead at halftime. Spiller passed the 100-yard mark for the game before the end of the third quarter and moved to No. 16 on the all-time rushers list at Texas A&M, passing both Johnny Manziel and Javorskie Lane.
Ainias Smith left the game late in the first half with an undisclosed injury and did not return.