BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Isaiah Spiller rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 21 Texas A&M beat fourth-ranked Florida 41-38 on Seth Small’s 26-yard field goal as time expired Saturday.
Spiller helped get the Aggies get into position for Small’s decisive kick, giving Jimbo Fisher his first win over a top-five team since taking over as Texas A&M coach.
“I think this is a real big confidence-booster,” Spiller said. “I feel like we really gained our identity.”
Fisher brushed off the notion that it was a signature win or it meant more than anything he’s done in three seasons in College Station.
“It’s a good win,” he said. “It’s a big win … but they’re all big wins.”
Kellen Mond threw a 51-yard pass to Caleb Chapman for a tying TD with about 4½ minutes to go.
The Gators were driving when Buddy Johnson forced a fumble by Malik Davis, and it was recovered by DeMarvin Leal to set up the game-ending field goal.
Mond passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns to help the Aggies (2-1, 2-1 SEC) down the previously undefeated Gators (2-1, 2-1)
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask had 312 yards passing and four TDs, but the Gators were done in by the late mistake and another poor performance by their defense.
“We’re playing 10 SEC games in a row,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “We have to get over this one quick. It’s more like an NFL schedule.”
Mullen was disappointed that the Gators allowed A&M to convert 12 of 15 third-down opportunities.
“We’re going to evaluate a lot of things defensively, and our ability to make plays and get off the field,” he said.
Chapman finished with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Aggies bounced back from last week’s lopsided loss to No. 2 Alabama.
“This game shows you what you’re capable of,” Fisher said. “Now I want to see what do you follow up with?”
Leon O’Neal intercepted Trask on Florida’s first drive of the second half, but the play was wiped out by a hands-to-the-face penalty on Michael Clemons. There was a scuffle after a play later in the drive that resulted in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for both teams.
Kadarius Toney grabbed his second TD reception on the next play, a 37-yarder that made it 28-17 Gators with about 10 minutes left in the third.
Another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Aggies, this one on Andre White, occurred on the ensuing kickoff and it looked as if Florida was in control of the game.
But then Spiller got going. Texas A&M grinded it out on its next drive, passing just once on a 10-play possession capped by a 3-yard TD from Spiller.
Florida led 28-24 early in the fourth when Spiller struck again, running 19 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play. Spiller bounced off several defenders before waltzing into the end zone and then hitting the Florida fan section with a Gator chomp.
Florida’s Evan McPherson kicked a tying 53-yard field goal with about 9½ minutes remaining, setting the stage for a wild finish.
The game was tied when Ainias Smith fumbled after a reception and the ball was recovered by Marco Wilson. The Gators cashed in on the mistake when Trask threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dameon Pierce to make it 38-31 with about six minutes left.
Kyle Pitts gave the Gators an early lead when he leaped above two defenders for a 5-yard touchdown reception on the first drive. The Aggies tied it up when Mond connected with Chase Lane on an 11-yard TD on their first possession.
Trask’s second TD pass came on the next drive when he found Toney for an 11-yard grab.
Mond then orchestrated a 14-play, 94-yard drive capped by a touchdown pass to Caleb Chapman with 9½ minutes left in the first half.
Florida regained the lead on Nay’Quan Wright’s 1-yard scoring run with about four minutes left in the second.
The Aggies made a field goal at the end of the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-17 at halftime.
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher
Aggie LB Buddy Johnson
Aggie QB Kellen Mond
Aggie RB Isaiah Spiller
Aggie K Seth Small
- The victory over No. 4 Florida is A&M’s first win over a top-five team since defeating No. 3 Auburn on the road, 41-38, in 2014 and the first top-five win at Kyle Field since knocking off No. 1 Oklahoma, 30-26, in 2002.
- Sophomore RB Isaiah Spiller’s 174 yards on the ground and sophomore WR Caleb Chapman’s 151 receiving yards in the game marked the first time in program history A&M has had a 150-yard receiver and 150-yard rusher in the same game.
- This was also the first time the Aggies have had a 100-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game since Jhamon Ausbon (109 receiving yards) and Isaiah Spiller (116 rushing yards) each passed the century mark against Lamar in 2019.
- The Aggies tallied 543 yards of total offense against the Gators, the most in regulation in a SEC game since putting up 559 against Tennessee in 2016.
- This was the first time since Oct. 4, 2014 that the Aggies saw four players finish with over 50 receiving yards in an SEC game – C. Chapman (151), A. Smith (53), J. Wydermyer (53), C. Lane (52).
- Spiller’s 174 rushing yards against No. 4 Florida marked the first time an Aggie has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against a top-10 opponent since Trayveon Williams ran for 198 yards in the win over No. 8 LSU to conclude the 2018 regular season.
- Today’s captains against Florida were S Keldrick Carper, DL Micheal Clemons and OL Carson Green.
- Senior QB Kellen Mond became A&M’s all-time leader in career passing yards against Florida, as his 338 yards in the game upped his career total to 8,224 yards. He also holds the program career records in completions (680) and attempts (1,168).
- This was the seventh 300-yard passing game of Mond’s career and the second time he has thrown for over 300 yards in back-to-back games.
- Mond’s three touchdown passes in the victory matched his regulation career high.
- Mond moved to 24-13 as a starter, which ties him for fourth all-time at A&M with Bucky Richardson (24-6-1).
- Sophomore RB Isaiah Spiller recorded the seventh 100-yard rushing game of his career, second of the season, finishing with 174 yards, 133 coming in the second half. After passing the century mark on the ground only once against an SEC opponent as a freshman, he has done so twice in league play through three games this year.
- Spiller scored a pair of second-half touchdowns on the ground, marking the third multi-touchdown game of his career.
- Sophomore WR Caleb Chapman set career highs in every receiving category, finishing with 151 yards on nine catches and a pair of touchdowns. This marked the first time an A&M receiver has had over 150 yards in a game since Christian Kirk hauled in 189 yards against Wake Forest in 2017.
- Freshman WR Chase Lane scored the first touchdown is his career on A&M’s opening drive with an 11-yard reception in the end zone.
- Senior LB Buddy Johnson matched his career high with 11 tackles against Florida, marking the fourth time in his career he has reached double figures in the category and the third straight game he has led the team this season.
- Junior PK Seth Small’s two made field goals upped his career makes total to 42, which ties him for sixth all-time at A&M.