It looked like it was going to be a struggle for Texas A&M to beat a reeling Arkansas at home in the first quarter, but everything changed quickly as Texas A&M completed their third blowout in three weeks. Let's break down Texas A&M's first SEC victory:
GENO SMITH WHO? -- Some type of football was played in Morgantown, West Virginia during the same time as the Aggie blowout. I'm not exactly sure what you call it. Even Arena Football thought their scoring was excessive. (70-63 final). Geno Smith will get a lot headlines with his stat line on the day, but here is Johnny Manziel's -- 29 for 38, 453 yards and 3 touchdowns passing, 104 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. Not only is that the most passing yards in Texas A&M history, but the most total offensive yards in Texas A&M history as well. I talked yesterday about how Manziel had to be more confident in the passing game and looking for receivers down the field. I thought he struggled in the first quarter but after a Kevin Sumlin timeout in the second quarter on a third down, everything changed. Johnny found multiple receivers down the field highlighted by Ryan Swope's 80 yard touchdown catch and run. Manziel impressed me today as a passer and I thought the offense clicked and looked like it was supposed to look in that second quarter. Johnny now has graduated from his diapers and is ready to lead a true Kliff Kingsbury offense. Get excited, Ags.
BENDING BUT NOT BREAKING -- Mark Snyder's group deserves a LOT of credit in this ball game. Arkansas gained over 500 yards on the day, which usually spells doom and gloom. But not on this Saturday. They only gave up 10 points and senior safety Steven Terrell had two interceptions. It was ugly early -- missed tackles on the perimeter, wide running lanes, and Tyler Wilson with all day to throw. But that changed in the second quarter as Mark Snyder started mixing up his blitzes. That put pressure on Tyler Wilson just enough to change the play of the Arkansas offense.
3RD QUARTER CURSE IS NO MORE -- A year ago on this very Saturday, Texas A&M suffered one of its worst collapses in school history, falling to Oklahoma State at home in a nationally televised game between two top 10 schools. That curse would continue a week later against this same Arkansas team in Dallas. A year later that curse is no more as Kevin Sumlin never took the foot off the gas pedal and the players played for 60 minutes with confidence and dare I say it, swagger. Thank you, Coach Larry Jackson.
THE FIRST OF MANY -- Congratulations Aggies. Our first SEC Victory, a year to the week from announcing our move into the league of champions. It's been a long year of waiting, but it is here and it never tasted so sweet. To many, many more down the road.
CARRY ON THE MOMENTUM -- The Aggies are riding a high right now, and must bring their momentum on the road next weekend into their first SEC road game at The Grove. Good teams put in a hard week of practice and get better, never letting Ole Miss have a chance at home. Let's see if this Aggie group is ready for the task, most likely as a ranked team for the first time in Kevin Sumlin's tenure.
HOW ARE YOU NOT IMPRESSED? -- Justin Manning, the Kimball (Dallas) defensive tackle and Top 5 player in the state of Texas was on hand for his official visit this weekend. The win, mixed with last week's Oklahoma breakdown, couldn't be better for the Aggies. If the young man isn't swayed to put the Aggies first on his list, I don't know if there is anything that could.
Until next time, BTHO OLE MISS.