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Aggies finish season with 8-5 record

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Former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight transferred to A&M in January of 2016, providing some stability to a quarterback room in a state of unrest after the departures of Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray at the end of the 2015 regular season. Knight was named the outright starter shortly after the close of spring practice, giving the Aggies their first fall camp without a quarterback competition since Johnny Manziel.

For the third consecutive season, the Aggies began with a win over a ranked opponent, this time a 31-24 overtime victory over No. 16 UCLA. Knight proved his importance to the offense early, scoring the game-winning touchdown in the extra frame on a 1-yard run on a read-option play.

Also for the third straight season, the Aggies would break out of the gates on a tear, rolling to a 6-0 record, one better than the 5-0 starts of the previous two seasons. The 6-0 streak was the best opening to a season for the Aggies since 1994, when A&M won its first seven games. Through those six victories, A&M notched wins at Auburn (29-16) and South Carolina (24-13) and posted a decisive 45-24 victory over No. 17 Arkansas in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Preseason SEC East favorite Tennessee came to College Station ranked No. 9 to face the No. 8 Aggies, which brought ESPN College GameDay to Aggieland. Knight again would run the game-winning score into the end zone from 1 yard out, and the game was sealed with an interception by Aggie safety Armani Watts in double overtime.

A&M entered its road bout with No. 1 Alabama ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff Top 25, marking the Aggies’ highest ranking in the playoff era. However, the Aggies’ unblemished start would end for the second straight year at the hands of the Crimson Tide, 33-14.

After that loss, A&M won just two more games the remainder of the season against nonconference opponents New Mexico State (52-10) and Texas-San Antonio (23-10). In A&M’s 35-28 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville, Knight injured his throwing shoulder, leaving most of the game in the hands of Jake Hubenak, who threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

The Aggies held a 21-6 lead over Ole Miss heading into the fourth quarter of the late-season conference matchup at Kyle Field. But the Rebels, led by freshman quarterback Shea Patterson, posted 23 fourth-quarter points to complete the 29-28 comeback win.

Knight returned for senior night against LSU on Thanksgiving, throwing for 211 yards and three touchdowns, but A&M dropped the regular season finale, 54-39.

Aggie All-American defensive end Myles Garrett played through the majority of the season on an injured ankle, which he sustained during A&M’s win over Arkansas. He did not play in the South Carolina and New Mexico State games, but still managed to post 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss on the season.

A&M met an old conference foe, Kansas State, in the 2016 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, but ended the year 8-5 for the third-straight season with a 33-28 loss in Houston.

On New Year’s Eve, Garrett announced he would forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. Garrett finished his career at A&M as the school’s sixth best in career sacks with 32.5, just behind Von Miller’s 33.


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