Offense vs. Defense

Quarterback Zach Calzada throws a pass to wide receiver Demond Demas.

Texas A&M football’s matchup against Missouri gives the Aggies an opportunity to build on their high-profile victory over former No. 1 Alabama.

The 4-2 No. 21 Aggies continue their SEC conference play traveling to face a 3-3 Missouri team that has struggled defensively. The Tigers have given up at least 28 points in four consecutive games and are coming off a 48-35 victory over North Texas.

A&M is coming off its best offensive performance of the season with redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada throwing three touchdowns against a talented Alabama defense. A&M’s offensive line didn’t allow a single sack and gave the running backs enough room to set up long play action passes for Calzada. Junior tight end Jalen Wydermeyer and junior wide receiver Ainias Smith combined to catch Calzada’s three touchdown passes.

A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said he was proud of Calzada’s ability to bounce back and perform amid the outside pressure.

“I’m very happy for [Calzada] to stay in the saddle, to stay in there,” Fisher said. “When you’re a quarterback, you get all the glory and all the blame. When he was getting all the blame, it wasn’t true. And right now he’s getting all the glory; it’s not true.”

Fisher also said it is important for Calzada and the rest of the team to not get complacent, instead emphasizing the need to continue to work hard for the team’s fast-approaching game.

“You [have] to eliminate the clutter, block it out, come back and practice and prepare like you did last week and do the things you got to do to be able to go play,” Fisher said. “Missouri is a very tough place to play. They’re an outstanding opponent in what they do. They play very [well] at their place. Always have. They’re going to be right there, ready for us, waiting to knock us off.”

Fisher said the best aspects of Missouri’s defense are its complex coverages and ability to get to the quarterback.

“[Missouri provides] different pressures. They blitz and they mix up their coverages on defense,” Fisher said. “They’re physical on defense. The front plays very hard. Linebackers can run. Secondary guys, they lost one corner here recently, but the safeties tackle well.”

Junior running back Isaiah Spiller said it is important not to underestimate Missouri’s defense, even though it gives up an average of 287.8 rushing yards per game, the third most in the country.

“I feel like we still [have] to come with the same mentality as we did last week,” Spiller said. “We just gotta keep playing.”

Junior offensive lineman Kenyon Green has played multiple positions across the offensive line, including both tackle and guard positions, for the Aggies this season. Green was a valuable component of the line that dominated the talented Alabama defensive front last week.

Green said his versatility comes from his desire to help the team in whatever way he can.

“I’m a team player,” Green said. “Wherever my team needs me, I’m gonna go handle my business and make sure I’m focused and ready to play.”

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