Texas A&M rode a massive second half to a 70-19 defeat of Oklahoma Saturday. The win makes A&M 5-0 on the season. The Aggies led by just six at halftime, 18-12, but outscored the Sooners 52-7 in the second half.
“Let’s just say there was an epic [lecture] at halftime and they responded well. It was really hot out, and it’s almost like we were feeling sorry for ourselves in the first half,” said A&M coach Brett Mills.
“We started out playing pretty good and picked up 18 points, and then we gave up two easy tries. We got reenergized at halftime, and the boys really went after it in the second half. We ran our pattern the way we should and we really opened them up.”
Oklahoma has one of the best center combinations in the Allied, and one of the most physically imposing in the country, with Dakota Wilkinson at inside and Michael Al-Jiboori at outside.
While Wilkinson scored two tries, Al-Jiboori was kept at bay, and it was the Aggie midfield scoring the lion’s share of the tries. A&M center Brian Guillen ran in a hat trick, and flyhalf Connor Mills and center Lucas Jacobson scored one a piece.
“Backs cut them open. Once the forwards were getting some clean ball, all of our backs just ran great,” said Mills. “Lucas Jacobson absolutely shut down Al-Jiboori on defense, which was key.
“We talked about it all week in practice if we could put a lot of pressure at nine and 10 and make sure we were up on the blitz in terms of keeping those guys from getting any space to run on, we’d be in good shape. Especially in the second half, we really shut them down completely.”
Texas A&M now turns its attention to the Allied Rugby Conference championship against Texas Saturday in College Station, Texas. When the Aggies and Longhorns met earlier in March, the Aggies won 44-17.
Tries: Dowlearn (2), De La Garza (2), Guillen (3), Smiley, Jacobson, Diaz, Mills
Cons: Mills (6)
Tries: Wilkinson (2), Bartalome