The Texas A&M Aggies knew coming in that the Tennessee Volunteers would not be a team that went quietly into the night, even if you had a lead on them in the second half. Over the last few weeks the Volunteers have built a bit of a reputation for itself after surviving an upset minded Appalachian State in the season opener, to a large second half comeback win over Florida and most recently a Hail Mary pass to win their game over Georgia.
On Saturday the Aggies built a 21-7 first half lead, only to find themselves in an entirely different game in the second half, and more specifically the fourth quarter. The Aggies and Volunteers traded blows like a heavyweight fight, with big hits and even bigger plays.
The Aggies and Volunteers each added a score in the third quarter to head into the final period of regulation with a 28-14 Aggie lead. In true Volunteers fashion this season though, they weren't prepared to go quietly. Some timely mistakes forced by the Volunteer defense allowed them to pull even with the Aggies in the fourth quarter and send the game to overtime which ultimately saw the Aggies come away victorious and move their season record to 6-0 (4-0).
For head coach Kevin Sumlin, the Aggies erase the 5-0 starts each of the last two seasons only to drop the sixth contest on the way to disappointing finishes to the year. This year, their reward for getting over that hump is a much needed bye week followed up by a date with Alabama in Tuscaloosa October 22.
The Aggies will use the well timed bye week to get some key players healthy. Ricky Seals-Jones missed his second consecutive game with a lower leg injury and Myles Garrett played at a self-diagnosed 65 to 70 percent of health while also nursing his own lower leg injury.
The Aggies get a little help during the bye week as the Volunteers will host the Aggies next opponent in Knoxville Saturday. The Aggies will be very interested in how their game with Alabama plays out and surely will look for anything they can gain from their most recent opponent facing their next.
The Aggies do have work to do though. They were able to capitalize on seven turnovers by the Volunteers but the Volunteers put up the highest number of offensive yards against the Aggie defense in program history with 684. Trevor Knight continued to be a player that gets it done when it matters most, but can make it an uncomfortable path to get there at times. On Saturday he had the game winning score, on a one yard keeper, but also two interceptions in regulation.