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Texas A&M Wins But UT Shows Promise

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Texas A&M Wins But UT Shows Promise

The scoresheet says that Texas A&M won comfortable 36-12 over Texas in both teams' Red River Conference opener, but that really wasn't the story of the game.

A new-look UT team put A&M under significant pressure early, using their bruising runners to shock the Aggies and bashing over two tries in the first half to lead 12-0. A&M were under a ton of pressure in the breakdown with the UT forwards, led by powerhouse hooker Sam Yeboah, counterrucking smartly, and being aggressive on defense.

For their part, A&M helped their opposition by making some poor passes, with repeated passes to no one, loopy passes, and various disconnects putting them on the back foot. Texas, meanwhile, is very young and small in the backline, but that group is also pretty brave, and the slight deep three made some key cover tackles to preserve that lead.

A&M hit a penalty kick just before halftime to inch closer, but the key change was that the Aggies stopped getting cranky at each other and tightened up their play.

"It seems like [Texas] had a lot o practice with rucks; they were extremely good at counterrucking," said A&M No. 8 Mikey Miller. "We went through the first half with almost zero structure. So at halftime we had a big talk with all the forwards [about] making sure we had proper coordination between three or more forwards going into a ruck."

The big Texas forwards began to tire a bit, and slowly A&M inched closer. They lost fullback Jeremy Brown to an injury after he had scored A&M's first try. But back came the Aggies, using their pace and experience out wide to find holes. Soon it was 22-12. Texas looked to pressure, but a broken play breakaway try for A&M game the Aggies the bonus point.

And then, on the final play of the game, a pass bounced off a Texas player's shoulder and A&M swooped in to score once more.

But with less than 20 minutes to go this was only a 15-12 game, and Texas, which finished last in the Red River South with a 1-7 record, has reason to feel optimistic.