Aggies lose Spring 2020 opener to BYU (XVs)

by Travis Normand
Originally Posted on Jan. 27, 2020
Updated Jan. 29, 2020

The #24 Texas Aggies hosted the #8 BYU Cougars on Friday, January 24, 2020 in College Station, Texas to open the second-half of their 2019-2020 season. The Cougars entered the game with a 7-0 record and as Rocky Mountain Champions, while the Aggies were 3-1 and have not completed Red River Conference play.

The game was fairly lop-sided in that BYU won the contest by a final score of 73-8. The following is a break-down of the scoring.

First Half: (Times are estimates):

  1. (37 Min) BYU #10 – Penalty Kick (PK): Score 3-0, BYU;
  2. (29:45 Min) BYU #13 – TRY: Score 8-0, BYU;
  3. (29:45 Min) BYU #10 – Conversion (CV) is Good: Score 10-0, BYU;
  4. (24:30 Min) BYU #2 – TRY: Score 15-0, BYU;
  5. (24:30 Min) BYU #10 – CV No Good: Score 15-0, BYU;
  6. (21:54 Min) BYU #9 – TRY: Score 20-0, BYU;
  7. (21:54 Min) BYU #10 – CV No Good: Score 20-0, BYU;
  8. (18:00 Min) BYU #11 – TRY: Score 25-0, BYU;
  9. (18:00 Min) BYU #10 – CV No Good: Score 25-0, BYU;
  10. (15:21 Min) BYU #5 – TRY: Score 30-0, BYU;
  11. (15:21 Min) BYU #10 – CV is Good: Score 32-0;
  12. (11:22 Min) Texas A&M – RED CARD, Michael Kilpatrick #7 (Flanker);
  13. (4:26 Min) BYU #15 – TRY: Score 37-0, BYU;
  14. (4:26 Min) BYU #10 – CV is Good: Score 39-0, BYU.

HT Score: 39-0 in favor of BYU.

Second Half:

  1. (34:30 Min) BYU #7 – TRY: Score 44-0, BYU;
  2. (34:30 Min) BYU #10 – CV is Good: Score 46-0, BYU;
  3. (30:50 Min) Texas A&M #17 – PK is Good: Score 46-3.
  4. (27:58 Min) BYU #11 – TRY: Score 51-3, BYU;
  5. (27:58 Min) BYU #10 – CV No Good: Score 51-3, BYU;
  6. (23:43 Min) BYU #21 – TRY: Score 56-3, BYU;
  7. (23:43 Min) BYU #23 – CV No Good: Score 56-3, BYU;
  8. (15:45 Min) BYU #5 – TRY: Score 61-3, BYU;
  9. (15:45 Min) BYU #23 – CV No Good: Score 61-3, BYU;
  10. (12:15 Min) Texas A&M #2 Tommy Batterson (Hooker) – TRY: Score 61-8;
  11. (12:15 Min) Texas A&M #17 – CV is No Good: Score 61-8;
  12. (5:40 Min) BYU #21 – TRY: Score 66-8, BYU;
  13. (5:40 Min) BYU #15 – CV is Good: Score 68-8, BYU;
  14. (0:00 Min) BYU #22 – TRY: Score 73-8, BYU;
  15. (0:00 Min) BYU #15 – CV No Good: Score 73-8, BYU.

FINAL TIME: BYU 73 – 8 Texas A&M

Despite the lop-sided score, the Texas Aggies looked good in that they never backed-down and never showed any signs of giving-up. Many teams would have surrendered at half-time, allowing BYU to score close to, or over, 100 points; but the Aggies looked focus and played a full 80 minute game.

A major factor in BYU’s ability to score so easily and often was that BYU played on a short field for what felt like 90% of the game. The Aggies were able to work the ball down into BYU territory, but the Cougars did an amazing job of keeping the Aggies pinned back for most of the game.

A bright spot for Texas A&M was when Tommy Batterson (#2) was able to break through for a Try late in the second-half. According to the roster on D1ARugby.com, this is Batterson’s first season with the club and his second game on the season (his first game being in November against the Longhorns). This Try also marks Batterson’s first score of the season.

BYU played the Longhorns in Austin the following day (Saturday, January 25, 2020) although I have been unable to find a final score. BYU will play their next game on February 15th when they take on #4 Saint Mary’s.

Texas A&M falls to 3-2 on the season but they are 3-0 in Red River Conference play. The Aggies are set to face LSU on February 1st as they continue their hunt for the RRRC title.

You can also read Alex Goff’s write-up of the game HERE; however, I did not see Goff in attendance (but he may have been).

Note: If any of the above info appears incorrect, please contact me and let me know, and I will get it updated.

****

Update: January 29, 2020:

The score of BYU’s game vs. the Longhorns has finally been posted at D1ARugby.com. Apparently the Cougars issued a 95-0 thumping to the Longhorns only one day after they beat the Aggies 73-8 in College Station. This is the second time in consecutive seasons that the Longhorns have suffered a 95 point loss, as last year the Aggies defeated the Longhorns 98-3 in Austin on January 26, 2019.

Normally, two staggering losses would not be worth mentioning; however, earlier this season on November 2, 2019, Alex Goff was sure that this seasons’ Longhorn team was a much improved squad.

Texas A&M Wins But UT Shows Promise
November 2, 2019
by Alex Goff

https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/texas-am-wins-ut-shows-promise

The scoresheet says that Texas A&M won comfortable 36-12 over Texas in both teams’ Red River Conference opener, but that really wasn’t the story of the game.

A new-look UT team put A&M under significant pressure early, using their bruising runners to shock the Aggies and bashing over two tries in the first half to lead 12-0. A&M were under a ton of pressure in the breakdown with the UT forwards, led by powerhouse hooker Sam Yeboah, counterrucking smartly, and being aggressive on defense.

For their part, A&M helped their opposition by making some poor passes, with repeated passes to no one, loopy passes, and various disconnects putting them on the back foot. Texas, meanwhile, is very young and small in the backline, but that group is also pretty brave, and the slight deep three made some key cover tackles to preserve that lead.

A&M hit a penalty kick just before halftime to inch closer, but the key change was that the Aggies stopped getting cranky at each other and tightened up their play.

“It seems like [Texas] had a lot o practice with rucks; they were extremely good at counterrucking,” said A&M No. 8 Mikey Miller. “We went through the first half with almost zero structure. So at halftime we had a big talk with all the forwards [about] making sure we had proper coordination between three or more forwards going into a ruck.”

The big Texas forwards began to tire a bit, and slowly A&M inched closer. They lost fullback Jeremy Brown to an injury after he had scored A&M’s first try. But back came the Aggies, using their pace and experience out wide to find holes. Soon it was 22-12. Texas looked to pressure, but a broken play breakaway try for A&M game the Aggies the bonus point.

And then, on the final play of the game, a pass bounced off a Texas player’s shoulder and A&M swooped in to score once more.

But with less than 20 minutes to go this was only a 15-12 game, and Texas, which finished last in the Red River South with a 1-7 record, has reason to feel optimistic.

Texas A&M Wins But UT Shows Promise,” by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report, posted Nov. 2, 2019, found here: https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/texas-am-wins-ut-shows-promise

Goff doubled-down on the Longhorns a week later when he wrote the following (emphasis added):

Red River Latest: Aggies, Longhorns, Sooners
November 10, 2019
by Alex Goff
https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/red-river-latest-aggies-longhorns-sooners

The evidence that the University of Texas is getting better was shown in sharp relief Saturday as the Longhorns beat LSU 48-19 in Baton Rouge.

Having undergone several coaching changes over the last few years, the Longhorns team has found a little bit of stability, and focused on improving.

Under Head Coach Connally McKay, Texas has produced some effective pressure defense and shown some talent out wide.

A week ago, after opening the game with a 12-0 lead, and then later losing to Texas A&M, McKay said: “they just need to keep it going for 80 minutes.”

What they also needed was to develop a little trust. Trust that the coaches would be around at the end of the season, or next season. Slowly the trust has been established, and the players are buying in. That showed on Saturday.

Red River Latest: Aggies, Longhorns, Sooners,” by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report, posted Nov. 10, 2019, found here: https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/red-river-latest-aggies-longhorns-sooners

Again, while no one at A&M is “beating their chest” over only losing to BYU by 65 points, it appears as if Goff misdiagnosed the Longhorns and they still have a long way to go.

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