Texas A&M Team News

Shutout important for Texas A&M, but road gets tougher next week

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Uhh, are there any questions?

Texas A&M has a much tougher road ahead, but the Aggies went out and did everything that a ranked team is supposed to do to an FCS school on Saturday, thrashing Prairie View 67-0.

The best of what A&M can be, offensively and defensively, surfaced at Kyle Field. For instance, wide receiver Christian Kirk was back to being A&M’s most dominant offensive weapon, scoring on receptions of 64 and 34 yards.

“This week was about us and sharpening the blade,” Kirk said. “We wanted to make sure everyone got better, and we did.”

Heck, even Speedy Noil had a slick touchdown grab, which, according to Kirk, gave the receiver a “boost of confidence” after being suspended for A&M’s opener.

And while the offensive numbers were exactly what Texas A&M wanted with 672 total yards, three made field goals and 277(!) rushing yards, it was the defense that truly stood out.

Before you say, “Come on, it’s Prairie View,” know this: The Panthers led the FCS ranks in scoring last season at 45 points per game.

Only once did the Panthers have a legitimate chance of scoring, when they tried a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. It was blocked.

After that, the closest they came to the end zone was A&M’s 48. Regardless of the opponent, shutouts are uplifting – and Texas A&M now has two shutouts in its past five games. Before that, the Aggies’ most recent blanking was in 2004.

That’s progress and that’s a big takeaway for Kevin Sumlin, who wasn’t asked about the shutout until 9 minutes and 55 seconds into his post-game news conference.

“It’s amazing that it took this long for someone to mention a shutout,” he said to laughter. “But to not let anyone score points or get in the end zone is a big deal that we don’t take for granted.”

Rest assured, defensive coordinator John Chavis doesn’t take it for granted, either, and you can bet he will continue to push his side of the ball to get better heading into next week’s game at Auburn.

“We’ve got to continue what we’re doing, week in and week out, for the rest of the season. Mature teams can do that without riding the wave,” Sumlin said. “This team’s demeanor seems to be one that understands that.”

If that’s true, it could be the answer to the only important question that can be asked after Saturday: What happens from here?

(You can follow Cavender Neutze on Twitter @neutz9)

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