Johnson steps in, hits No.  24 Texas A&M No.  13 Miami 17-9

Johnson steps in, hits No. 24 Texas A&M No. 13 Miami 17-9

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Looking for a way to get his team back on track after last week’s upset, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher benched quarterback Haynes King for Max Johnson, and the LSU’s move to help the Aggies down the Miami. Saturday night.

Johnson threw for 140 yards and a touchdown in his first start for No. 24 Texas A&M and the Aggies beat No. 13 Miami 17-9.

Johnson replaced King after his subpar performance in Texas A&M’s stunning loss to Appalachian State last week.

”We still have to get a heck of a lot better on offense,” Fisher said. ”But I thought that was the best thing for us to win the game and that’s what we did.”

Fisher was asked if Saturday’s win could be a boost for his team as it opens SEC play next week.

”We needed a shot,” he said. ”We didn’t need another shot the other way.”

Miami (2-1) was down by 8 and had to punt after two turnover calls stalled a drive with about three minutes left. The Hurricanes had a shot to get the ball back when Ainias Smith punted at the 12. But he fumbled the ball before Miami could get to it to allow A&M to keep the ball.

The Hurricanes later got the ball back, but Brashard Smith dropped a pass on fourth-and-4 with about 30 seconds left to allow the Aggies (2-1) to run out the clock for the win.

”We showed a lot of guts, a lot of heart,” Fisher said, blocking out the outside noise that was the key to being able to rebound this week.

Dropped passes were the theme of the night for Miami as the team struggled without star receiver Xavier Restrepo, who missed the game with a foot injury. Tyler Van Dyke had 217 yards rushing, but couldn’t get the Hurricanes in the end zone.

Devon Achane had 88 yards rushing and extended the lead to 17-3 with about 10 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter when he caught a short pass and lost four defenders en route to a 25-yard score.

A 22-yard field goal by Andres Borregales cut the lead to 17-6 with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Borregales got Miami within 8 with a 34-yard field goal with 8 1/2 minutes to play.

The Hurricanes, who scored a combined 100 points in their first two games, moved the ball well at times, but couldn’t convert in the red zone, settling for repeated field goals as they lost for the first time under the coach new Mario Cristobal.

”We have to get better,” said Cristobal. “We have shown that we can compete in a difficult environment, but competing in itself is not enough. You have to execute. You are forbidden to put yourself in the foot of certain things.”

Cristobal said after the game that Restrepo will miss at least six weeks with his foot injury.

Johnson, who was LSU’s starter last season before transferring to A&M, wasn’t great, completing 10 of 20 passes. But he seemed to give the Aggies a shot in the arm after the bye week loss. last sent them falling from No. 6 to No. 24 in the AP Top 25.

”The players around me made a lot of great plays … I think it was just a great team win,” Johnson said.

Smith had four receptions for 74 yards to help the Aggies win in front of a crowd of 107,245, which was the third-largest crowd in Kyle Field history and the largest for a non-conference game.

The Aggies lost two players in the secondary in the first quarter due to targeting penalties. Cornerback Brian George was sacked with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the period for a hit on Henry Parrish.

Safety Demani Richardson was kicked out for a hit on Michael Redding III after a catch just before the end of the quarter.

Borregales, who missed a 49-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, had one blocked from 36 yards with about 11 1/2 minutes left in the second.

It was tied after the teams traded early field goals with Tyrique Stevenson muffed a punt and Chris Russell recovered it on the Miami 25.

Texas A&M made up for the mistake three plays later when LJ Johnson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 10-3. Achane set up that score with a 22-yard run on the previous play.

THE CONSTRUCTION

Johnson has looked much more confident and comfortable leading the offense than King this season and should improve with more time as a starter.

The Hurricanes will have to find a way to finish a drive after their setback on Saturday night.

ON SUSPENSION

Texas A&M receivers Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall and cornerbacks Smoke Bouie and Denver Harris missed the game after being suspended for violating team rules.

Polling Implications

The Aggies could move up a few spots after rebounding against the Hurricanes. Miami will surely drop in the rankings after its first loss of the season.

UP Next

Miami: Hosts Middle Tennessee State next Saturday.

Texas A&M: Meets No. 10 Arkansas next Saturday night in Arlington, Texas in the first of four straight away games.

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