Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher leads the Aggies onto Kyle Field for an NCAA college football game against Northwestern State on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Trayveon Williams ran for 240 yards and three touchdowns in just more than two quarters as Texas A&M routed Northwestern State 59-7 in coach Jimbo Fisher's debut with the Aggies on Thursday night.
Williams scored Texas A&M's first touchdown on a 73-yard run, and a 2-yard scamper made it 21-0 in the second quarter. The junior pushed the lead to 42-0 when he burst through the line and simply outran everyone else for a 40-yard score early in the third quarter in his last play of the night.
"What Trayveon does is he has great acceleration," Fisher said. "He sees very well. He's just a natural runner with the football."
It was the second-best rushing performance in school history behind the 297 yards Bob Smith ran for against SMU on Nov. 11, 1950, and Williams became the 20th player in Texas A&M history to reach 2,000 career yards rushing (2,095). Kwami Etwi added 83 yards rushing and a score to help the Aggies rush for more than 400 yards (503) for the first time since 2003.
Williams said he didn't know how many yards he'd piled up until his night was done.
"We were just going out there and having fun ... just got caught up in the moment and I didn't even realize I had what I had," he said.
Kellen Mond started at quarterback for the Aggies after vying with Nick Starkel for the job throughout camp and threw for 184 yards and touchdown passes of 7 and 8 yards and added a score on a 1-yard run. Starkel took over in the third quarter with the game out of hand and threw for 63 yards and a touchdown.
The Aggies handled business easily against Northwestern State, an FCS school which plays in the Southland Conference, to help Fisher to a victory in his first game since leaving Florida State for a 10-year, $75 million contract.
Northwestern State split plays at quarterback between Shelton Eppler and Clay Holgorsen. Eppler started and threw for 105 yards and Holgorsen finished with 125 yards passing and touchdown.
"The one thing we talked to this football team about afterward is that this one game will not define us," first-year coach Brad Laird said. "There's 10 more opportunities not counting postseason where we have the opportunity and look forward to."
Northwestern State: The Demons were overmatched in their first game against a Southeastern Conference team since 2015, but Eppler and Holgorsen both made some nice throws that should translate to more success when they play other FCS schools.
Texas A&M: The Aggies looked good against lesser competition on Thursday night but will have to play much better next Saturday to get a win next Saturday when second-ranked Clemson visits.
Northwestern State: The Demons host Grambling on Sept. 8 before beginning conference play at Lamar on Sept. 15.
Texas A&M: The Aggies have a brutal early schedule with a trip to No. 1 Alabama looming in Week 4 after their meeting with Clemson next week and a home game against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 15.
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