Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
It was the best of times, but there were some ugly moments too. Texas A&M recorded a touchdown on offense, defense, and special teams in their romp of South Carolina State on Saturday night, 70-14. Let's take a look at what the Aggies did right and what they need to correct before they begin their SEC stretch starting with Arkansas next Saturday. SMILE!
THE SPARK PLUG DOES IT AGAIN -- Here is Johnny Manziel's stats through his only half of play on Saturday night: 15-20 174 yards 3 touchdowns passing and 78 yards rushing on 8 carries and two more touchdowns. More highlights. More long scrambles for big gains. More awkward passes over the middle. One nice 30 yard touchdown down the middle to Kenric McNeal while standing strong in the pocket. We got everything and more tonight. The big question will be can Johnny do these kinds of things next Saturday against a bigger, faster Arkansas defense? They were shredded tonight by Rutgers, let's hope he can. We need a big day in the air and less on the ground.
DUSTIN HARRIS BREAKING ALL THE RECORDS -- Dustin Harris not only set a Texas A&M record for punt return yardage tonight, but he also set an SEC record. See, we only needed three games to break all those wimpy SEC records. Get this -- Harris returned 8 punts for 246 yards and the highlight was that 96 yard score. That's only a 30.8 yard average. Harris was at times just toying with South Carolina State. Let's hope he can continue to put our offense in good field position the rest of the season. Oh, and big ups to Brian Polian's crew tonight. They had some great walls set up for Harris to run behind.
DEFENSE CONTINUES TO DO ITS JOB -- South Carolina State only had 233 yards on offense. (And yes two scores but let's just sweep that under the rug). Other than one drive in the first quarter where the defense went completely asleep, they had another stellar and SEC-caliber night. The most important statistic? South Carolina State was 3-16 on third down conversions tonight. Meaning Mark Snyder's bunch got off the field 81% of the time on third downs! And the Aggies also got their second interception of the season when Deshazor Everett took one back for 22 yards on a pick six. For all the question marks to enter the season, this is one solid group. But they will be tested by one of the best in all of college football next Saturday in Tyler Wilson. Big challenge ahead.
WHERE IS C-MIKE? OH THERE HE IS -- Many wondered why Ben Malena got the start at running back. Did you guys really think C-Mike's tweets wouldn't have consequences? When Christine Michael did play after his first half suspension, he put on a show. He only had 7 carries for 27 yards and a touchdown, but he looked like the C-Mike of old running north and south and having good vision. That is the C-Mike we need the rest of the way, playing with passion and making defenses look silly. We all know how much C-Mike loves the Piggies.
WTF OFFENSIVE LINE???? -- A lot of people considered this offensive line to be one of the best in the country entering the season. Let's get real here. It's not. Not even close. This isn't the same Jim Turner coached group. They are in a new system and doing some things they aren't comfortable with yet. They are too slow off the line and the double teams are spending too much time playing around with defensive lineman before advancing to the second level to take on a linebacker to make the running play pop. They also play too high and aren't getting good leverage on their defender. And they are weakest in the middle. Cedric Ogbuehi is out of position at right guard and doesn't get movement inside like a guard should. Jarvis Harrison also gets less movement than he should and at times looks clueless on what he should be doing on a play. Tonight he whiffed picking up a stunt in the second quarter and got Johnny killed in a play that resulted in a roughing the quarterback penalty. As good as this line is on the outside, they need a lot of help on the inside. One move I would consider making is inserting Ben Compton at one of the guard positions. And if we really want to go extreme? Maybe its time for Mike Matthews to try his hand at center and move Patrick Lewis back to guard. Something has to be done because we can't be a one dimensional team in the SEC or else it won't be pretty. The good news is he have until October 20th when LSU comes to town to really improve and fix the situation.
That's all for now. Time to BTHO WOOOOO PIG SOOOOOIE and SMILE!