For the second straight week, the Texas A&M Aggies played really well in the first quarter.
The other three quarters were... an adventure, to say the least. The Aggies picked up a 24-14 victory over the Nicholls State Colonels in their home opener, but it was closer that it seems.
On their very first drive of the evening, A&M drove down the field with relative ease. Christian Kirk picked up a 27 yard rush and a 28 yard touchdown reception from Kellen Mond, and it seemed like things were going well in Aggieland.
The defense came out and got Nicholls off the field after just five plays, then the teams traded three-and-outs before A&M marched down the field again and went up 14-0 after a Trayveon Williams rushing touchdown.
Nicholls answered with a field goal on its first drive of the second quarter, and the A&M offense spent the next few drives looking absolutely lost. In just the second quarter, Mond went 2-8 for 11 yards. The rushing attack was even worse, as the Aggies got two yards on five total rushes. Nicholls added another field goal in the final minute of the half to go into the break down 14-6.
After another drive stuck in neutral, Kevin Sumlin called upon Jake Hubenak to replace the struggling Mond. It didn’t work out at first, as Hubenak’s first series saw an OPI, two incompletions, and a sack. Nicholls was also stuck in the mud though, and the third quarter ended with A&M up 14-6.
Daniel LaCamera missed a field goal from 52 yards out for the Aggies, and Dami Jeanpiere hauled in a huge reception to get Nicholls deep into A&M territory. They finished the job two plays later when Chase Fourcade found Stephen LeBouef in the end zone. The Colonels lined up to go for two, and Fourcade completed a pass to Mason Roberts to tie the game at 14 with 12 minutes to play.
That was as close as it would get, though. Huberak and the A&M rushing attack marched down the field for a 11 play, 75 yard drive and stepped back on top, 21-14. The Aggies added a field goal in the final minute to ice the game.
A win is a win, but to be tied in the fourth quarter with a team you’re favored to beat by 39 points is a pretty alarming look for the Aggies. Doubly so when you factor in how lost their offense looked at certain points tonight. With just one nonconference tune-up remaining before the rigors of SEC play begin, A&M needs to get it together.