Texas A&M's defense overwhelmed Kentucky and Aggie tailback Trayveon Williams sealed the victory with a leap into the end zone in overtime. It was A&M's first victory over a ranked team since 2016.
COLLEGE STATION — On the fourth play of overtime, Trayveon Williams flipped over two Kentucky defenders and landed in the end zone. Within seconds, the entire Texas A&M bench ran towards the Aggie tailback in a mass celebration in the southwest corner of Kyle Field.
Final score: unranked A&M 20, No. 13 Kentucky 14. It was the Aggies first win over a ranked team since this time two years ago when they beat No. 9 Tennessee in double overtime.
The snap before his touchdown, Williams shook his fist, anticipating the score. He then turned a simple inside zone play into a 10-yard game winner. It hardly mattered that Williams had taken a shot to the ribs late in the fourth quarter. He didn't miss a snap.
"By any means necessary," Williams said. "Whether I’m hurting or feeling great, I'm going to do anything I can to help this team."
The A&M student section chanted "Jimbo-Jimbo" for Aggie coach Jimbo Fisher as the game ended. Instead, the fans probably should have showered Williams and the entire A&M defense with the adulation. They were the stars Saturday night as the Aggies upped their record to 4-2 and 2-1 in SEC play.
Williams rushed for 138 yards and caught six passes for 72. His performance allowed him to move into the SEC lead in rushing with 720 yards.
Williams was asked what his overall effort proved. He replied: "I’m one of the best backs, if not the best back, in the SEC."
What the game also affirmed was that Williams could do well against ranked opponents. In A&M's two losses this season, to top-ranked Alabama and Clemson, which had been ranked No. 2, Williams had rushed for a total of 62 yards.
The A&M defense had a direct hand in helping Williams to the SEC rushing lead. Kentucky tailback Benny Snell had been the top guy. But the Aggie defense stifled Snell for 60 yards on 13 carries. He had been averaging 128 during Kentucky's five-game winning streak to open the season.
"We're not satisfied because he should have had zero yards, to be honest with you," said Aggie linebacker Tyrel Dodson.
A&M's defense overwhelmed Kentucky. The Wildcats scored once on offense, when Lynn Bowden caught a short pass off a jet sweep and zipped around the left side of the A&M defense for a 54-yard touchdown. That was in the final minute of the first quarter.
In regulation, the Wildcat offense did not run a play in A&M territory. The Aggie defense forced six three-and-out series. They sacked Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson six times.
The only other Kentucky score came with 4:17 to go in regulation, when Wildcat free safety Darius West scooped up a Kellen Mond fumble and returned it 40 yards for the touchdown.
A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, who played both tackle and end, sacked Wilson on a third-and-two in overtime for an eight-yard loss. Wildcat kicker Miles Butler's 43-yard field goal attempt clanked off the cross bar.
The Aggies offense then ran the ball four straight times. The fourth was the game winner.
With a road game at South Carolina next Saturday, Fisher described the Kentucky win as a "measuring stick."
"It doesn't make or break just because you won this game," Fisher said, saying his team "showed a lot of grit, a lot of toughness, a lot of heart ... and a lot of character."