A healthy Garrett helps No. 23 Texas A&M beat USTA 23-10
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) When the GPS Myles Garrett wears during practice let Kevin Sumlin know he was running almost 22 mph on Wednesday, Texas A&M's coach knew his star defensive end was finally healthy.
On Saturday Garrett showed that what he can do when he isn't ailing, finishing with a career-high 4 1/2 sacks to help No. 23 Texas A&M get back on track with a 23-10 win over UTSA.
''Twenty-two mph is ridiculous. I hadn't seen that in a while,'' Sumlin said. ''He was smiling. He was bouncing around and you could just tell by his face because he hasn't been in a good mood. He's been frustrated.''
Jake Hubenak threw for 248 yards and a touchdown to help the Aggies (8-3) get a victory they desperately needed after consecutive losses to Mississippi State and Mississippi ruined their shot at the College Football Playoff.
Garrett had missed two games and was limited in several others because of a high ankle sprain. He finished with eight tackles, broke up a pass and forced a fumble. Instead of limping as he has been in recent weeks, Garrett was harassing UTSA's two quarterbacks all game.
''It was great to finally be able to move and get off close to how I wanted to,'' he said. ''I just demonstrated what level I can play at when I'm close to being healthy.''
He further showed his ankle was fine when he batted down a pass in the second quarter and celebrated with a spirited dance. He had another big play in the fourth quarter when he sacked Jared Johnson to force a fumble, which A&M recovered.
Garrett has 8 1/2 sacks this season to give him 32 1/2 for his career, making him the eighth player in Southeastern Conference history with at least 30 career sacks. His 4 1/2 sacks on Saturday were second in school history behind a five-sack day by Alex Morris in 1987, and he moved in front of Hall of Famer Reggie White for sixth-most career sacks in SEC history.
''They are phenomenal at the defensive end position,'' UTSA coach Frank Wilson said.
Sumlin raved about Garrett playing through his injury. He was especially impressed with his work considering he will likely be one of the top picks if he declares for the NFL draft.
''A guy that has as bright a future as he has to play in a situation where he could have just said: `I'm going to save myself until I'm ready to go,''' Sumlin said. ''It says a lot about what kind of person he is … what kind of teammate he is and how much he cares about this team and wanting to win.''
The Roadrunners cut the lead to 3 points early in the second quarter after a one-handed touchdown grab by Josh Stewart. The Aggies then scored the next 13 points, capped by a 47 yard run by Trayveon Williams to make it 23-7 in the third quarter.
UTSA (5-6) was led by Johnson, who threw for 186 yards and a touchdown.
UTSA: The Roadrunners, who have had a football team only since 2011, showed they've made a lot of progress by keeping things close. But in the end they just aren't yet on the level to deal with the size and speed of a team like Texas A&M.
TEXAS A&M: The Aggies did what they were supposed to do against a lesser opponent, but Hubenak and the offense will need to be sharper when they return to SEC play next week.
''He's been effective for what we've asked him to do,'' Sumlin said. ''His biggest characteristic right now is he's finding the playmakers.''
Williams had 11 carries for 80 yards to leave him 44 yards shy of becoming the first true freshman at the school to rush for 1,000 yards. Sumlin said Williams was a bit frustrated in the first half when he couldn't get much going and the coach told him if he was patient he would break a big run on Saturday. After his touchdown carry he said to Sumlin: ''I have to listen more.''
The Aggies could move up a couple of spots in the poll after losses to a handful of teams ahead of them on Saturday, but don't look for them to make too much of a jump from this non-conference victory.
UTSA: The Roadrunners will look to become bowl eligible for the first time when they host Charlotte on Saturday.
TEXAS A&M : The Aggies face a quick turnaround, wrapping up the regular season Thursday night when they host No. 16 LSU.
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