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Cessna's grades: Aggies' report card looks much better against Hurricanes

Cessna's grades: Aggies' report card looks much better against Hurricanes

miami game targeting richardson GRADES 1

Texas A&M’s Demani Richardson (26) hits Miami’s Michael Redding III during the first quarter Saturday night at Kyle Field. Richardson was flagged for targeting on the play and disqualified for the game.

OFFENSE: B-

What went right: Texas A&M running back Devon Achane ran hard. It’s offensive line took a huge step forward, and wide receiver Ainias Smith matched Achane’s intensity as they combined for 78 yards after contact on their combined 13 receptions.

What went wrong: A&M mustered only 50 yards on its last three possessions, giving Miami hope of a comeback late in the game.

Bottom line: Quarterback Max Johnson gave the unit a huge lift, leading the way as A&M didn’t commit a turnover.

DEFENSE: A

What went right: A&M didn’t get a sack but never allowed Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to feel comfortable.

What went wrong: All that was missing was an interception, fumble recovery or big-time sack.

Bottom line: The unit turned Miami into Field Goal U as the Aggies made the Hurricanes attempt five of them.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B+

What went right: The fumble recovery on a botched Miami punt return that led to A&M’s first touchdown might have been the game’s biggest play.

What went wrong: Smith muffing a late punt return then recovering it could have been disastrous. He and the Aggies were lucky to get away with it.

Bottom line: The unit had a good start with Randy Bond hitting a 26-yard field goal. Nik Constantinou’s punt to the Miami 1-yard line could have put the game on ice if the defense had stepped up.

COACHING: A

What went right: Many things, starting with inserting Johnson at quarterback.

What went wrong: A&M got a little conservative in the second half, including a slow-developing play on third-and-2 that forced a punt and led to Miami’s last field goal.

Bottom line: A&M’s secondary was stretched thin with two players suspended and two more ejected for targeting, but the unit stood tall.

OVERALL: A-

What went right: The Aggies got contributions from all three facets of the game.

What went wrong: Miami, despite all its mental and physical errors, stayed in the game until the end.

Bottom line: A&M won a game it just had to have with the Southeastern Conference schedule starting next week against Arkansas.

— ROBERT CESSNA

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Over the summer, a few of the football coaches at Corona del Mar High School in California glanced at some of the plays from Texas A&M’s playbook. Former A&M quarterback Nick Starkel, now the Sea Kings’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, wanted to know if they had seen anything like the route patterns and concepts Aggie head coach Jimbo Fisher had conceived.

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