Florida vs. Texas A&M score, takeaways: Aggies beat Gators for first top-five win under Jimbo Fisher

Jimbo Fisher finally picked up a marquee victory at Texas A&M in his third season as coach of the Aggies. No. 21 Texas A&M outlasted the No. 4 Florida Gators 41-38 on Saturday as Seth Small hit a 26-yard field goal with time expiring to send Kyle Field into a frenzy. It marked Fisher's first victory over a top-five foe since being hired by TAMU in 2018, and it brings a measure of redemption after the program's 52-24 loss against No. 2 Alabama last week cast the success of Fisher's tenure into question. 

The loss is a gut-punch for Florida, which had a chance to win late. The Gators took possession with 4:30 remaining in a tied game and quickly moved the ball to midfield before Malik Davis fumbled. Texas A&M's DeMarvin Leal fell on it. From there, the Aggies used their newly found success in the running game to plunge toward field-goal range and a monumental victory. 

The win is the Aggies' first over a top-five team at Kyle Field since 2002 and first since joining the SEC. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond finished 25-of-35 passing for 338 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as he continued to expose a Florida defense that has been the worst in the SEC through three games.

However, it was Isaiah Spiller who stood out as the difference in the game. The Aggies sophomore running back rushed 27 times for 174 yards and dominated the second half with a pair of touchdowns as his team rallied from a 28-17 deficit.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask finished 23-of-32 passing for 312 yards and four touchdowns, but the Gators' passing game cooled in the second half as star tight end Kyle Pitts was limited due to a foot injury.

Running wild

With four starters back on their offensive line and Spiller returning for his sophomore season, the Aggies looked like a team that would be able to run the football. They did so reasonably well in a season-opening win against Vanderbilt but largely fell flat on the ground against Alabama. But when the Aggies' passing game finally hit a snag early in the third quarter on Saturday, they turned to Spiller. He delivered in a major way.

With Texas A&M trailing 28-17 and struggling to stop the Florida offense, the Aggies handed the ball to Spiller to begin a drive midway through the third quarter. He picked up 13, 23, 13 and six yards on four consecutive plays. When he finally needed a breather, the Aggies simply handed the ball to Ainias Smith. He ticked off runs of 9, 5 and 6 yards to carry the Aggies into the red zone. Spiller finished off the drive with a 3-yard scoring run, thus setting the tone for the rest of the game.

Spiller put the Aggies on top 31-28 with 12:35 remaining as he scampered in from 19 yards. In total, Texas A&M ran 38 times for 205 yards with Spiller inflicting much of that damage.

Shaking up the standings

Florida's loss left Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee as the lone remaining undefeated teams in the SEC. But with the Bulldogs and Volunteers playing each other Saturday, that tally will drop to two by the end of the day. It's not a great sign for the league's depth. But it shouldn't be a total shock to see so many teams already nursing losses in just the fourth week of the season. 

The Gators were not previously scheduled to play Texas A&M. But when the league moved to a 10-game, conference-only schedule, it added two league games to each team's schedule.  The Gators lost easy wins against Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State and Florida State from their schedule and added the Aggies and Arkansas instead.

Kyle Field 'packed'

Florida coach Dan Mullen told reporters after the game that Kyle Field was "packed." His assertion backed up images from the TV broadcast, which appeared to show dense groupings of fans throughout the 102,733-seat venue.

"Hopefully the administration allows us to pack The Swamp," Mullen said.

It will be interesting to see if the atmosphere at Texas A&M puts pressure on governors and university officials in other states to ease attendance restrictions that are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has lifted attendance restrictions at sporting events in the state, but university officials have not committed to doing the same.

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TXAM +6, o59.5
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TXAM 6, O/U 59.5

Season Leaders

passing
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K. Trask 2810 YD, 34 TDS, 3 INTS
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K. Trask 2810 YD, 34 TDS, 3 INTS
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K. Mond 1573 YD, 16 TDS, 2 INTS
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K. Mond 1573 YD, 16 TDS, 2 INTS
rushing
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D. Pierce 80 ATT, 412 YD, 3 TDS
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D. Pierce 80 ATT, 412 YD, 3 TDS
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I. Spiller 131 ATT, 777 YD, 6 TDS
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I. Spiller 131 ATT, 777 YD, 6 TDS
receiving
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K. Toney 45 REC, 541 YD, 7 TDS
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K. Toney 45 REC, 541 YD, 7 TDS
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A. Smith 29 REC, 348 YD, 5 TDS
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A. Smith 29 REC, 348 YD, 5 TDS
Live updates
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@AggieFootball via Twitter
October 10, 2020, 7:48 PM

ESPN crew says Kyle Pitts is dealing with a foot injury and is not 100%. Definitely something to monitor down the stretch here if Florida gets the ball back. For now, Texas A&M takes over in Florida territory following a Malik Davis fumble. 3:40 remaining with scored tied at 38.

October 10, 2020, 7:17 PM

Touchdown Aggies!
Texas A&M responds with a 51-yard bomb from Kellen Mond to Caleb Chapman. The ball was underthrown, but Chapman adjusted and made the catch over Marco Wilson. Chapman was gimpy getting up, which made the catch even more impressive. PAT tipped but makes it through anyway. 38-38 with 4:30 to play.

October 10, 2020, 7:14 PM

Touchdown Florida!

The Gators capitalize on the turnover with a one-yard swing pass from Trask to Dameon Pierce to make it 38-31 Gators with 6:14 remaining. So what do the Aggies go to now? Are they comfortable enough to keep running the ball this late, or do they start trying to air it out after struggling through the air for much of the second half?

October 10, 2020, 7:09 PM

Wow, first turnover the game is a crucial one as Ainias Smith fumbles after a hit from Florida's Jeremiah Moon. Gators take over in Aggies territory with the score tied at 31 and under nine minutes remaining.

October 10, 2020, 7:06 PM

Evan McPherson just drilled a 53-yard field goal for Florida with 9:54 left in the game to tie it a 31. Great kick. Get the feeling this one could come down to special teams. Gotta wonder if Texas A&M can keep the ground game going. If so, the Aggies could run the game clock down a good bit here on this next drive.

October 10, 2020, 6:58 PM
@GatorsFB via Twitter
October 10, 2020, 6:56 PM

Good news for Florida that Kyle Pitts has been back in here in the fourth quarter. There was no explanation for his extended absence given, and he's obviously a critical piece of what the Gators do. Now up to five catches on the day as he's snagged a couple here in the fourth quarter after catching three balls on the team's opening drive of the game.

October 10, 2020, 6:53 PM

Texas A&M DT Bobby Brown picked up a huge sack and ended up hurting himself while celebrating it. Looked like he tweaked his knee. Wasn't doing anything overly demonstrative. Just appeared to land funny.

October 10, 2020, 6:27 PM

What a response from Texas A&M.

After falling behind 28-17 and picking up a couple terrible penalties, the Aggies respond with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included NINE runs. Isaiah Spiller started the drive with runs of 13, 23, 13 and six yards. He capped it with a three-yard scoring run. Just like that, the Aggies have the momentum. 28-24 Florida with 4:18 left in 3Q. Texas A&M still hasn't stopped Florida.

October 10, 2020, 6:20 PM

Gators up 11!

A Kyle Trask interception was wiped off the books because of an illegal hands to the face penalty on A&M. The Gators pushed into Aggies territory on the next play and finished the drive with a 37-yard pass form Trask to Kadarius Toney. That's four touchdowns on four possessions for Florida. Gators lead 28-17 with 9:38 left in the third.

October 10, 2020, 6:04 PM

Breaking!

We have our first punt of the game with 13:23 left in the third quarter. The Aggies picked up a couple of quick first downs, but three straight incompletions stalled their drive just past midfield. Gators with the ball and a 21-17 lead. Crucial series here for the A&M defense.

October 10, 2020, 5:57 PM
@GatorsFB via Twitter
October 10, 2020, 5:57 PM

Halftime: No. 4 Florida 21, No. 21 Texas A&M 17

There were a total of six possessions in the first half. Both teams had the ball three times, and both teams scored three times. So a bad day if you're a punter. A&M might have mismanaged its final possession just a bit, but the Aggies came away with a field goal and they get the ball to start the second half. The teams are a combined 12-of-13 on third-down conversions. The only miss there was Florida, and the Gators ended up going for it on fourth and converting.

October 10, 2020, 5:33 PM
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