No. 8 ranked Texas A&M scored 26 unanswered points to pull away for a 46-14 season opening win over a decent SMU. Ryan Tannehill passed for 246 yards and 2 TDs while Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael each rushed for 2 TDs to lead the Aggies.
The A&M kickoff sailed into the endzone for a touchback. SMU opened their first possession with two runs by their big running back Zach Line totalling 20 yards. Tony Jerod-Eddie recorded A&M's first sack of the season, dropping SMU quarterback Kyle Padron for a loss of 6 yards. Facing 3rd and 7, Kyle Padron's pass attempt was deflected by Aggie cornerback Trent Hunter and intercepted by safety Steven Campbell. Campbell returned the interception 51 yards to ther SMU 6-yard line.
It took the Aggies just 2 plays to take advantage of the turnover, with Chistin Michael scoring on a 4-yard run. Rand Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead with 12:13 left in the first quarter.
SMU picked up one first down on their second possession before facing 3rd and short, Kyle Padron overthrew his intended receiver and Trent Hunter intercepted for the Aggies and returned it to the SMU 45-yard line.
Texas A&M took 6 plays to drive the 45 yards, with 5 of those being runs by Cyrus Gray, including the last, a 5-yard TD scamper. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Aggie kickoff went out of bounds, giving SMU good position at their 40-yard line. On SMU's third possession, J.J. McDermott replaced Kyle Padron at quarterback. After a couple of McDermott pass completions moved SMU to the Aggie 41-yard line, Zach Line found huge holes in the Aggie defense on three runs to travel the 412 yards, with Line punching it over from the 1-yard line. Walkon kicker Chase Hover made the extra point to cut the Aggie lead to seven, 14-7 with 3:39 left in the first quarter.
SMU tried to surprise the Aggies with an on-side kick and it likely would have worked, but Hover muffed the on-side kick attempt, giving A&M the ball at the SMU 31-yard line. It took the Aggies just 4 plays to score, with Cyrus Gray diving over from the 2-yard line. Bullock's extra point attempt was blocked by SMU 6-8 defensive end Margus Hunt, Hunt's 11th blcoked kick of his career.
SMU mounted a 7-play, 71-yard drive that included four J.J. McDermott pass completions, scoring on a 27-yard pass from McDermott to Keenan Holman. Hover's extra point reduced the Aggie lead to six, 20-14, early in the secomnd quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Aggies picked up one first down before being forced to punt. A 40-yard Ryan Epperson punt gave SMU the ball at their 28-yard line with an opportunityu to drive for a go-ahead score.
SMU picked up two first downs moving to the A&M 43-yard line before the Aggie defense stepped and forced an SMU punt. The SMU punt pinned the Aggies back on their 13-yard line.
Texas A&M put in a balanced 10-play, 87-yard drive. with Tannehill connecting with Ryan Swope for a 28-yard touchdown. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies a 27-14 lead with 5:44 left in the first half.
The Texas A&M defense sacked McDermott twice and forced SMU 3-and-out for the first time. The SMU punt gave the Aggies good field position at their 48-yard line. It took the Aggies 6 plays to drive the 52 yards, ther last 19 coming on 3 runs by Christine Michael including a 1-yard TD dive. Bullock's extra point was again blocked by Margus Hunt, leaving A&M with a 33-14 lead with 1:05 left in the half.
SMU was again forced to punt and A&M ran out the clock to end the first half.
At the half, Texas A&M led in both total yards, 235 to 210, and first downs 14-11.
For A&M, Ryan Tannehill had completed 11 of 13 passes for 141 yards and 1 TD. Tannehill's passes went to 6 different A&M receivers, led by Ryan Swope with 6 catches for 87 yards. Cyrus Gray had 14 carries for 69 yards and 2 TDs while Christine Michael had 5 carries for 26 yards and 2 TDs.
For SMU, Zach Line had 15 carries for 108 yards and 1 TD. J.J. McDemott came on the complete 8 of 12 passes for 101 yards and 1 TD. Cole Beasley had 5 catches for 43 yards.
Texas A&M opened the second half with an 11-play, 78-yard down to the SMU 2-yard line before having to settle for a 19-yard Randy Bullock field goal to make the score 36-14 four minutes into the second half.
SMU drove to the A&M 36-yard line before a pass attempt on a 4th-and-8 fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs.
Texas A&M drove 64 yards in 7 plays, the last 32 a TD pass from Ryan Tannehill to tight end Hutson Prioleau. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies a 43-14 lead at the 3:21 mark in the 3rd quarter.
The Aggie kickoff into the SMU endzone was returned by Der'rikk Thompson but he was tackled at the SMU 6-yard line. SMU picke dup one first down before again having to punt.
Texas A&M drove to the SMU 32-yard line before being forced to punt. The Aggie punt was downed at the SMU 2-yard line.
SMU drove out to the A&M 49-yard line before again failing to convert on a 4th down attempt and turning the ball over on downs. A&M drove to the SMU 20-yard line but had to settle for a 37-yard Randy Bullock field goal which increased the Aggie lead to 46-14 with 4:52 left in the game.
SMU finished the game with a 10-play drive that only able to move to the A&M 49-yard line before the gamne ended on a sack by A&M defnesive lineman Kirby Ennis.
After giving up some big rushing yards the first half, the Aggie defense was much improved the second half, holding SMU to negative rushing yards as a result of several sacks and 147 total yards.
Texas A&M had eight sacks, led by three by Tony Jerod-Eddie, the Aggies most since 2002.
For the game, Texas A&M led in both total yards, 458 to 357, and first downs 25-20.
Texas A&M had no turnovers and only 50 yards in penalties.
For A&M, Ryan Tannehill had completed 21 of 26 passes for 246 yards and 2 TDs with no INTs. Tannehill's passes went to 7 different A&M receivers, led by Ryan Swope with 8 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD and Jeff Fuller with 6 catches for 52 yards. Cyrus Gray had 21 carries for 132 yards and 2 TDs while Christine Michael had 14 carries for 85 yards and 2 TDs.
For SMU, Zach Line had 22 carries for 128 yards and 1 TD. J.J. McDemott came off the bench to complete 21 of 34 passes for 254 yards and 1 TD. Terrance Wilkerson had 6 catches for 85 yards, Darius Johnson 6 catches for 75 yards, and Cole Beasley 7 catches for 56 yards.
No. 8 Texas A&M opens the 2011 season with a commanding 46-14 win over a decent SMU.
Texas A&M now has thirteen days to prepare for their next game against Idaho.
The Aggie Websider will have full analysis of the SMU game and previews of the Idaho game.