The first Top 20 match-up in Starkville, Mississippi in over a decade turned into a snoozer. Coach Kevin Sumlin and his Aggies emptied their second SEC stadium by half in as many weeks. A just as impressive breakdown is below.
ICYYY BLACK UNIFORMS -- Texas A&M fans, mostly those that frequent TexAgs.com, have been waiting each and every week for the equipment staff to pull out some crazy uniform combination. Well, they got their wish on this Saturday as these secret black uniforms and helmet were so secret @Agshoeman had to have them delivered to his house instead of campus. It worked, as both players and fans woke to a pleasant early surprise that set the mood and mindset for the rest of the day. (And for the record, they weren't the cheap looking uniforms that Texas Tech is currently wearing which seems like you can pick them up at your local Buc-ee's)
Mississippi State Gets DOLEZALED -- Credit to @Stringsays for the title. Once again, the Aggie offense came to play. They scored first for the 9th time this season (P.S., we've played 9 games). They were almost perfect in the 1st half. This led to a 24-0 halftime lead. If it wasn't for a blotched, horribly incorrect call on a should be touchdown at the goalline and a few missed field goals, Mississippi State's chances for Showers at the #SNOWBOWL12 would have gone up earlier in the day.
Let these numbers sink in: Texas A&M ran 97 total plays on the day. The average coming in was slightly above 79. That resulted in 693 total yards for the game, almost breaking 700 yards on the 15th ranked scoring defense in the entire country.
What has gotten into this Texas A&M offense that had struggled at times earlier in the season? The development of an inside running game. Now, this offensive attack is becoming more balanced and doesn't have to solely rely on Johnny Manziel bailing us out. Kingsbury can attack inside with either Malena or Christine Micheal; he can attack on the edge with wide receiver screens; and he can attack down the field and over the middle with the development of Manziel as a passer. If you're a defensive coordinator how do you stop it? The ultimate test comes next week against Nick Saban and Kirby Smart.
COWBELLS INFURIATE DAMONSTER -- Damontre Moore had another top performance today, proving once again why he is a Top 5 eligible NFL Draft prospect. Did you see him chase down that Mississippi State receiver after a gain of 40 yards? That's sick, bro.
But it was the entire defense that were the stars on this day. They took those Independence Bowl highlights personally. Earlier this week we looked at what the Mississippi State offense would try to do against the Aggies -- and they came out and did the opposite. Instead of staying bunched up, they tried to spread out the field after seeing what teams like Louisiana Tech and Ole Miss did against us and what LSU could not. But it backfired for Dan Mullen -- spreading out his offense left them susceptible to Mark Snyder's blitz package. This totally disrupted the slow-developing passing attack of Tyler Russell. That shut down the Bulldog offense until the game was seemingly out of reach for them. Credit to the defense for a (dare I say it) "Wrecking Crew" like performance not only physically but also in mentality to completely silence the CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA of Davis Wade Stadium.
MISSED CONNECTIONS -- No, not the Craiglist option Kliff Kingsbury will be clicking on after the game to see if any lady enjoyed his white-after-Labor Day rebellious look. I'm talking about the kicking game. This has to be the one glaring weakness in the football program right now. And going on the road next week at Alabama? Could be the difference in a massive upset. You could argue it hurt us today from the standpoint of those extra point might have allowed us to pull the starters earlier in the day. And at this point in the season, you have to wonder if we are reaching the point where we might need to consider using one of those few remaining precious scholarships on an actual high school kicker.
MARKETABILITY ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED -- The "Swagacopter" visiting high school football games in Houston last night, even if Coach Sumlin was somehow magically two places at once. The all-black uniforms with the state of Texas displayed prominently on the helmet. The early game, no matter how many Aggies hate it, allowed a media blitz of A&M love to be carried on throughout the day. Oh, and "A&M", "Johnny Football", and "Texas A&M" were trending not only nationally but worldwide on twitter at some point today. This is the kind of exposure we were hoping for when we made the move to the Conference of Champions and our success so far has completely changed not only the mindset but also the perception of Texas A&M. The perfect storm brewing in College Station? Watch out, College Football World.
The Eyes of the Nation will be on Tuscaloosa next Saturday, with a good chunk of people believing in an A&M upset of the Crimson Tide. Embrace it, Aggies. Our time is here.