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Texas A&M 45, Tennessee 38: Three Takeaways

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Takeaways? Just three? The Aggie defense got seven!

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It was a game for the ages at Kyle Field Saturday afternoon night, as Texas A&M defeated Tennessee in a marathon affair, a game featuring almost 1300 yards of offense, ten turnovers, and a lot of unhappy UT fans wearing orange, something that hasn’t happened at Kyle Field in quite a while. Here are three takeaways, even though I considered doing seven this week in honor of

The SEVEN turnovers forced by the Wrecking Crew

Look, there are two ways to view this defensive performance by A&M. You can look at the yards (don’t look at the yards, it’s ugly) (684 total yards), or you can look at the turnovers. You can look at the missed tackles (31, according to Pro Football Focus), which seemed to be caused because A&M was so focused on trying to strip the ball, or you can look at the fact that A&M DID strip the ball out five times.

Turnovers won the game for A&M. From the first turnover they caused, when Myles Garrett sacked and stripped Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the first quarter (leading to a touchdown for the Aggies), to the last play of the game, the diving interception in overtime by Armani Watts, the turnovers were huge.

Twice, A&M recovered fumbles as Tennessee was just about to score. A couple other times, turnovers stopped big drives. While the other statistics don’t look pretty, the fact is, A&M forced seven turnovers and six punts and one fourth down stop, so that is 14 drives that came up empty for Tennessee.

The tackling will improve. For now, enjoy the fact that through six games, Texas A&M leads the nation in turnovers forced.

The Aggie running game continues to impress

Another game, another full box score. 50 carries, 353 yards, four touchdowns. 7.1 yards per carry.

I know Aggie fans tend to wait for the other shoe to drop when big success shows itself early on. But A&M has played six games, five against Power 5 opponents, four against SEC opponents. These aren’t fake numbers at this point. A&M is a legitimate running team.

Overall, A&M ranks 8th in the nation in running, gaining 274 yards per game. Only Louisville is ahead of A&M’s 6.8 yards per carry as a team. Only four teams have scored more than A&M’s 19 touchdowns.

The big play threat continues to be huge for A&M. Trayveon Williams (704 rushing yards, 5 TD’s, 8.6 yards per carry) continues to lead the nation in 40+ yard runs after his 71 yard run Saturday brought his season total to four. Trevor Knight, who also had a 62 yard touchdown run Saturday, just happens to be tied with Williams atop the national standings with four 40+ yard runs of his own.

It’s amazing what good blocking up front and speed in the backfield can do, isn’t it?

Kyle Field is the best football atmosphere in the universe

That’s right, not just the world, but the universe. It’s hard to really describe unless you were there, but the amount of noise, the towels, the electricity, it was the type of thing I’ll remember forever. I’m a bit at a loss for words. Nights like that (since the day game ended up finishing at night) are what Aggie fans dream about.

What else is there to say? Let’s just enjoy it. There are two more home games this year that have the potential to be just as big or bigger.