Texas A&M Football: Remembering the Big Wins of 2016
In spite of a poor finish, the Aggie football team achieved some of the program’s biggest home victories in the Kevin Sumlin-era in 2016.
Kevin Sumlin has been criticized for his inability to win big games at home. Up until this season, his biggest victories had come on the road against a top ranked Alabama team and a top five Auburn team. Those moments were incredible. They just weren’t able to be enjoyed by 100,000+ within the friendly confines of Kyle Field.
Then the Aggies scheduled a home and home with Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins. When they arrived at Kyle Field they were the No. 16 team in the nation.
After a 40 yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds from Trevor Knight, the Aggies had a 15 point lead going into the fourth quarter. It wouldn’t last long. The Bruins scored twice in the final five minutes to force overtime.
Kevin Sumlin deserves credit for a gutsy call on fourth and one in overtime. Knight took the snap and ran off tackle to punch in the game winning score.
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The defense had one noticeable breakdown, ceding a 62 yard touchdown pass, but played well for most of the day. The offense was balanced and efficient with 239 passing yards and 203 rushing yards.
At the time, that was the highest ranked opponent the Aggies had beaten at home under Sumlin.
A few weeks later the maroon and white faced another test. The No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers, fresh off a miracle win over Georgia, squared off with the Aggies in a matchup of top 10 SEC teams.
Knight was responsible for five of the Aggies six touchdowns. Freshman running back Trayveon Williams had his coming out party, rushing for 217 yards and one score. However, it was his fumble out of the endzone late in the forth quarter that set the Volunteers up for their game tying score.
The Aggies allowed a 21 point lead to slip away, but had the chance to win the game in regulation with a 38 yard field goal. Kicker Daniel LaCamera was unable to convert and the Aggies and Vols headed to overtime.
After trading field goals, Trevor Knight put the Aggies in the endzone in the second overtime with another touchdown run. That was followed up in the second half of the frame with an interception of Volunteer quarterback Joshua Dobbs by Aggie safety Armani Watts.
Just like that, the Aggies had beaten Tennessee and had a pair of top 16 home victories in the first six weeks of the 2016 season.
***Stats from Sports Reference and ESPN***
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