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King throws 3 TDs as No. 6 Texas A&M downs Sam Houston 31-0

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Despite having a lifetime career day Saturday, coach Jimbo Fisher knows quarterback Haynes King can perform a lot more.

Thats a good performance and he is able to play much better than that, Fisher said. I thought he threw accurately downfield.

King threw for a career-high 364 yards and three long touchdowns to lead No. 6 Texas A&M to a 31-0 make an impression on Sam Houston in a casino game that included an almost three-hour weather delay.

King, who was simply named the starter the other day after beating out two others in camp, threw touchdown passes of 66, 63 and 43 yards in the opener for both teams. King also threw two interceptions within an inconsistent performance while making his return after breaking his leg in the next game last season.

Ainias Smith had six receptions for a career-high 164 yards with two touchdowns and Devon Achane ran for a score to greatly help Texas A&M to the victory.

On the defensive side, I felt like they played well, Smith said. Sticking with the offensive side, we have to go on and execute a lot better.

The Aggies were up 17-0 at halftime once the game was suspended because of lightning in your community at 1 p.m. Neither team returned to the field after halftime and a note was posted on the video boards telling fans that the overall game was suspended also to seek shelter.

Sunlight was out once the suspension began, but heavy rain begun to fall about one hour in to the delay.

The rain had stopped by enough time the teams returned to the field for a 20-minute warmup period prior to the game resumed at 3: 54 p.m.

The Aggies kept it seeking the long delay on the initial drive of the 3rd quarter when Achane bulled in from 1-yard out for the touchdown.

Smith said the delay helped the team refocus to summarize the overall game on a higher note.

No disrespect to those other guys, but we were just attempting to drill, he said. We werent attempting to play no games and thats what it had been.

The defense made an end from then on, but Kameryn Alexander hopped before a receiver to choose off King on A&Ms next drive. King returned to the sideline where Fisher talked to him for one minute before he returned to the bench.

The Bearkats couldnt make use of the mistake and had to punt. King then capped a 10-play, 89-yard drive with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Smith to create it 31-0 with about 11 minutes remaining and end his day.

Weve got quite a distance to go, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. Weve surely got to get yourself a lot better… just surely got to keep developing in the items we do.

Jordan Yates, a graduate transfer from Georgia Tech, threw for 91 yards and ran for 60 in his first game for Sam Houston.

The Bearkats, who won the FCS national title in 2020, are playing their last season in the FCS because they transition to FBS next year. Sam Houston is playing an abbreviated nine-game schedule this season since it transitions and isn’t qualified to receive the FCS playoffs because the team prepares to help make the jump to college footballs top division.

I believe in early stages we realized that people belong on a single field, Sam Houston coach K.C. Keeler said. The thing is youve surely got to make plays, and we didnt make enough plays.

Yulkeith Brown put the Aggies up 7-0 in the initial quarter when he got while watching defense to seize his first career reception for a 66-yard score.

The Aggies had to be able to enhance the lead with about 8 minutes left in the next quarter, but BJ Fosters interception on the 3-yard line ended the drive.

Texas A&M managed to get 10-0 on a 40-yard field goal by Caden Davis about 5 minutes before halftime.

King linked to Smith on a 63-yard catch and run for a touchdown to create it 17-0 with significantly less than one minute left in the next.

THE TAKEAWAY

Sam Houston: Although Bearkats struggled against A&M Saturday, they did make some big plays and set up a fight what is likely to be among the nations best teams. They ought to continue being among the top teams in the FCS within their last season in the division.

Texas A&M: The Aggies will have to limit mistakes and play more consistently should they hope to contend with the elite teams in the SEC.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman in his record-setting freshman year at A&M in 2012, and fellow former Aggies standout Mike Evans, who now plays for Tampa Bay, were on the list of 97,946 fans at Saturdays game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Aggies should retain their spot in the AP Top 25 following the win.

UP NEXT

Sam Houston: Hosts Northern Arizona next Saturday night.

Texas A&M: Hosts Appalachian State next Saturday following the Mountaineers lost a 63-61 thriller to NEW YORK this week.

___

More AP college football:

https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Join the APs college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

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