Texas A&M made an early statement in the Red River Conference with its 64-15 win over Oklahoma this past Saturday, but the Aggies aren’t the only contender to watch out for in this year's league race.
Justin Brown scored three tries on the day for TAMU, and lock Kade Ball notched two. Meanwhile, Ross Navarro kicked seven conversions and scored two tries for 24 total points. It was a solid effort by the Aggies, who moved to 2-0. Also 2-0? LSU.
The Tigers thumped a very good Arkansas team 51-15 over the weekend.
“We’re a good team,” LSU coach Scott McLean said. “We have some seniors who have been pretty much starters since they were freshmen. We’ve got some experienced guys.”
Cameron Troxler scored a try and did a solid job opening up the field. Wing Aidan Elias is very quick and scored two tries. Todd Dupre also did well, but this was his last game as he graduates this December.
“Our defense has been pretty solid all year, and even though our conference is getting tougher, I feel pretty good about where we are right now,” McLean said.
And Baylor, which lost to Texas in a preseason game on Oct. 27, rebounded to beat TCU 50-8 on Saturday behind 16 points from fullback Luke Davis and tries from forwards Gordon Wilson, Ryan Macintosh, and Griffin Maat.
"We've had to replace quite a few key players from last season which is always tough," Baylor head coach Mason Hering said. “We graduated five of our starting pack, and our set piece wasn’t very good against UT so we spent some time trying to correct that. I was happy with our improvements which gave us a good enough platform to do some attacking.”
Wilson is a sophomore rookie on the team and has emerged as an athletic, energetic attacker who can weave in and out of traffic. Prop Brian Ciszewski is another Bears player to watch. A former linebacker on the Oklahoma State football team, Ciszewski transferred to Baylor because of its pre-med program and left football behind because his studies required too much time.
“He’s going to be pretty dominant for us,” Hering said.
While Texas A&M, LSU, and Baylor have emerged as early favorites in the Red River, the rest of the conference's ranks are far from settled. Texas hasn’t found consistency as a team yet, and Arkansas has struggled on the road. Both have big games on Dec. 2 (Texas at Houston, Arkansas at Texas Tech), while FloRugby will live-stream the Oklahoma at Baylor game on that same day, a matchup in which OU will want to show some improvement after a rough start.
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