Texas A&M’s running back duo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane combined for 292 rushing yards and three touchdowns to power the 21st-ranked Aggies to a 35-14 victory over Missouri on Saturday.
Spiller rushed 20 times for 168 yards and one touchdown, and Achane added 16 carries for 124 yards and two scores as Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) avoided a letdown after last week’s upset of Alabama.
Missouri (3-4, 0-3 SEC) has the nation’s worst run defense — allowing 287 rushing yards per game — and it offered little resistance as Spiller ripped off a 48-yard touchdown run and Achane followed with a 20-yard scoring run in the first quarter. The home crowd booed Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz when he ran out the clock in the first half rather than aggressively trying to cut into the Aggies’ 28-7 lead.
Zach Calzada completed 13 of 25 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Both scoring passes went to Ainias Smith.
Missouri’s Tyler Badie rushed 22 times for 68 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown run in the second quarter in which he dragged defensive back Demani Richardson for the final 5 yards. Badie also had seven catches for 53 yards.
Connor Bazelak completed 29 of 43 passes for 230 yards for the Tigers but was intercepted twice.
Texas A&M outgained Missouri 431 yards to 328.
Texas A&M: After his star turn last week against Alabama, Calzada just needed to be steady against Missouri. He delivered, particularly on a third-quarter drive after the Tigers had cut the deficit to 14 points. Facing a third-and-15, he hung in the pocket and hit Smith over the middle for a 21-yard gain. The Aggies went on to score a touchdown to take a 35-14 lead.
Missouri: The Tigers’ SEC games have followed a familiar pattern, with Missouri not ready to play at kickoff. The Aggies opened a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. In three conference games, the Tigers have been outscored 63-10 in the first quarter. Missouri’s offense leans on running back Badie, but the early deficits have forced them to rely more on a shaky passing game.
After rescuing its season and re-entering the AP Top 25 by stunning Alabama last week, Texas A&M assured itself a longer stay in the poll with a solid victory over Missouri.
Texas A&M: The Aggies return home to face South Carolina next Saturday.
Missouri: The Tigers have a week off before visiting Vanderbilt on Oct. 30.