Mississippi State takes down No. 15 Texas A&M

Collin Wilmes

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Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers tossed 408 yards and three touchdowns as the Mississippi State football team downed No. 15 Texas A&M 26-22 Saturday night at Kyle Field.

With the score 24-22, junior defensive lineman Nathan Pickering sacked Texas A&M redshirt sophomore QB Zach Calzada in the end zone for a safety to seal the win.

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 3-2 (1-1 SEC), while the Aggies fall to 3-2 (0-2 SEC).

MSU redshirt sophomore wide receiver Makai Polk led all receivers with 13 catches for 126 yards receiving and two TDs, while sophomore receiver Lideatrick Griffin added 52 yards receiving on three catches.

The Bulldog defense was anchored by redshirt junior linebackers Jett Johnson and Nathaniel Watson with eight tackles apiece. The unit held Calzada to 135 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception on the night. Junior running back Isaiah Spiller had 16 carries for 100 yards rushing.

The Bulldogs took the lead first when senior safety Fred Peters intercepted Calzada to set up a 24-yard field goal for redshirt freshman kicker Nolan McCord to give MSU a 3-0 lead.

Texas A&M took a 7-3 lead shortly after when Calzada found junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer for an 11-yard TD pass. MSU then finished off a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to sophomore receiver Jaden Walley to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead with 2:58 left in the first quarter.

A pair of field goals by Texas A&M senior kicker Seth Small, one from 40 yards and another from 37 yards, gave the Aggies a 13-10 lead with 2:47 left in the half.

Rogers then connected with Polk on a nice 15-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 17-13 lead at the halftime break. Polk’s second touchdown came on a 20-yard reception to extend the MSU lead to 24-13 with 6:54 left in the third quarter.

Texas A&M answered when Calzada scrambled 25 yards for a touchdown, but his 2-point conversion attempt was broken up to make it a 24-19 game with 1:18 to go in the third quarter.

The Aggies managed to cut the lead to 24-22 on a 44-yard field goal by Small with 5:39 to play. Texas A&M then forced a punt on the ensuing drive, but the MSU defense stepped up when it mattered most to secure the win.

The Bulldogs will be off next week before hosting No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 16. Game time and television network for the game are yet to be determined.

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