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Texas A&M got back in the win column Saturday with a tight, 13-6, victory at Notre Dame. Some heavy contention at the breakdown, and possibly suspect managing of it by the referee, prevented either team from opening up their attack.
As it was, A&M and Notre Dame marched in lockstep most of the game. Notre Dame opened scoring with a penalty, Aggie flyhalf Connor Mills replied with two of his own, and the Irish pulled even with their second. The difference in the match was A&M scoring the contest’s lone try.
“That was one of the few times we did get some continity,” said Aggie coach Craig Coates in reference to their try. “It went through some phase play, and we started punching in near the corner and had a couple of pick-and-gos that they held us out on, and we eventually moved the ball left through the backs. One breakdown, and we had an overlap to score next to the posts.”
The man who took advantage of the overlap and touched down the try was none other than Mills, who converted as well, scoring all 13 A&M points. Coates was reluctant to dole out too much praise Mills’ way, or his team’s way, for that matter, but did acknowledge the importance of Mills’ scoring output.
“He did OK. It wasn’t his best game. He dropped a couple of balls and had a couple kicks that missed touch, so I wouldn’t say he had a stellar game,” said Coates, “but he did enough to get us over the line. I would say the points were important. He had a couple nice kicks that kept us in it.”
With the win, A&M gets back to .500 at 2-2 after suffering consecutive losses. So despite the fact that they feel they could have played better, the Aggies will go back to College Station a happy bunch.
"It would have been crushing to go back home with another loss, absolutely," said Coates, "so we definitely take it for what it is and are happy to have the win. The guys played better than we did last week. We were more committed in the tackle and at the breakdown, so we did some good things."
With the loss, Notre Dame falls to 1-1.