After struggling at the start of the season, Texas A&M has found consistent momentum in the run game.
In Saturday’s 30-6 win over South Carolina, two Aggies rushed for over 100 yards in an SEC game for the first time since 2017 when junior quarterback Kellen Mond and Keith Ford had 109 and 102 yards against Arkansas.
Sophomore running back Cordarrian Richardson notched a career-high 130 yards on six carries to lead the Aggies on the ground. He added one touchdown on a 75-yard run in the fourth quarter. That scoring run was the Aggies’ longest touchdown rush of the season and the second-longest rush of the season.
Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller continued his success this season, accumulating 129 yards on 24 carries to move into sixth place in A&M’s freshman running list. This game marked the fourth time this season Spiller has recorded over 100 yards in a game, and the first in conference competition.
While Richardson contributed an average of 21.7 yards per carry, Spiller averaged shorter runs of 5.4 yards per carry to help the Aggies to a time of possession of 41:39, compared to South Carolina’s 18:21.
Senior center Colton Prater said dominating the time of possession allowed A&M to wear down South Carolina’s offense and was a major factor in the Aggies’ victory.
“If you look over the last couple of years, that's one thing that this team has been good about is we always beat people down,” Prater said. “When it comes down to these tough hard‑fought games, it's always them rolling over, not us. Their defense was out there complaining about it; they were feeling it.”
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said having two running backs contributing to the offense changes the dynamic of the team.
“It's a whole different animal, taking those blocks and angles and things on there,” Fisher said. “That's allowed us to be a better football team.”
Though Spiller and Richardson had standout games, Prater said it was due in large part to the players’ commitment to one another.
“That's what's beautiful about football,” Prater said. “It's not an individual sport. You have four guys be perfect and one guy not and it's not going to go anywhere. We've really come together and meshed. I think that's what I've been most proud of this year, is that our group has, every week, gotten better.”
Fisher said Richardson’s size — 6-foot-0 and 240 pounds — allowed him to find the success he had against the Gamecocks.
“That guy controls a lot,” Fisher said. “He is a very talented guy. He's physical. Those [bigger] guys, they're hard to tackle. He's learning to be a great blocker and do some things, and he's a big weapon for us. I'm very happy he's playing like he's playing.”
Fisher said Spiller’s performance against the Gamecocks is a confidence booster as the Aggies close out the season with two back-to-back SEC road games.
“That tells me something,” Fisher said. “It tells me he's getting tougher, learning to take that pounding, that's what you do against good defense. When you go play these good teams like we're about to go play on the road right now, all these 80-, 90-yard runs, that's all great. That ain't happening against good people. You got to pound, pound. And those will come in time if you can wear and tear on them. And he's learning that.”