Trayveon Williams was in Kyle Field for Texas A&M’s final nonconference game of the season against the University of Texas at San Antonio, but he wasn’t the Aggie running back making waves on offense.
Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller accumulated a career-high 217 rushing yards on 20 carries and added three touchdowns to lead A&M to a 45-14 win over the Roadrunners.
By the 10:15 mark of the third quarter, Spiller had already accumulated 200 rushing yards for the Aggies.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Spiller’s contribution to the Aggies’ rushing attack took pressure off junior quarterback Kellen Mond, who is a consistent contributor to A&M’s rushing total.
“You have to be able to [get the run game going],” Fisher said. “Part of that happens because people have to play the QB run. That’s a gap that people have to play on the edges. That’s going to cause some problems. The more we can create that without the QB run is good. That’s a complete team thing.”
Mond said his job as signal caller becomes easier when he can rely on the rush to bolster the offense.
“It makes the passing game a lot easier,” Mond said. “Something that you notice is, when the running game is going a lot better, passing percentages [increase] and easier throws are able to be made.”
The offense’s effort at blocking and creating running lanes allowed Spiller to accumulate rushing yards.
“We blocked very well up front, tight ends, receivers,” Fisher said. “Everyone did a really good job, and he hit holes.”
Spiller’s performance tied the A&M freshman touchdown record and Williams’ freshman record from a 2016 game against Tennessee. The pair are the only true freshmen in program history to rush for over 200 yards in a single game.
Spiller is also the only player in the SEC to record multiple touchdowns of over 50 yards in a single game.
The Aggies’ offensive success in the game was in large part due to Spiller’s big plays, which came at opportune times.
After falling behind 7-0 early, Spiller busted out a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of A&M’s second drive.
Fisher said that play was instrumental in the Aggies’ ability to turn around their slow start to the game.
“When you hit those one-play drives it demoralizes people,” Fisher said. “It takes the heart out of guys on the other side. On offense, it gives you that adrenaline, that shot, and we kept building off of that. He was a catalyst today.”
Then, on A&M’s first drive of the second half, Spiller capped off a 5-play, 80-yard drive with a 50-yard touchdown run to extend A&M’s lead to 28-7.
The success Spiller was able to have against UTSA is a testament to his work ethic, Mond said.
“It goes back to the work he puts in practice, just understanding what gaps might be there against what certain teams, understanding different fronts,” Mond said. “It’s really good to see him and some of those freshmen grow each and every week.”