Johnny's Game Suffers From Offseason Partying -- That is the headline that many around the country were probably hoping for. Especially those living in the SEC West. That wasn't the case as Johnny and the Aggie offense lit up the scoreboard with ease, not missing a beat from the Cotton Bowl beatdown of Oklahoma. Johnny threw a lot of passes for a billon yards, a million touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had a key block on a fabulous Brandon Williams cut-back for a touchdown. Spring game stats aren't important; but Johnny looked even more accurate as a passer, had better form in the pocket, and was throwing some rockets behind unlimited protection. Johnny is going to be even better in 2013. College football, watch out. Johnny-mania has just begun.
Re-made Offensive Line Already a Solid Unit -- The one thing I was critically watching today was the new offensive line. Two new faces but four new starters in different positions. Jake Matthews and Cedric Ogbuehi look rock solid at the tackles. More importantly, Germain Ifedi looked ready to fill in at right guard. He doesn't look like a redshirt freshman, and pretty agile at 320 pounds being able to run downfield on some screen plays. The middle of the line will have to work on run blocking, especially when going up against SEC defensive tackles. But for right now, Johnny looks to have one of the better groups in college football blocking for him once again.
Our Runningbacks Can Dance -- Both in the hole and in the endzone. Brandon Williams drew some HELLO's on the very first play, a 35 yard scamper. Williams looked good on the edge all day, and will make for a dangerous weapon with his hands as well in the fall. I expect Williams to get a lot of work as a receiver coming out of the backfield, and letting him work in open space and one-on-one situations against a defender. Trey Williams also had moves, with sick acceleration through the line and picking up yardage. Oh, and there is still Ben Malena and Tra Carson. Coach McKinney has some dangerous weapons and will be interesting to see how he splits carries and utilizes each one. All four could be all-conference running backs.
Who Wants the Ball? -- We had our first look as well at a new receiving core. Mike Evans will lead the group, playing both inside and outside this year, which will give our offense some new and unique matchups. But who will be behind him? LeKendric Williams had the best day, catching literally everything thrown his way and then having the moves to pick up extra yardage. I think he deserves to work with the ones right now. Derel Walker also had a nice day, aside from his first series drop. The 6'4" Ed Pope made several appearances as well. Don't forget the incoming freshman, who will appear to have ample opportunities to earn positions. Whoever rises and wants the job will get it.
Terror on the Outside -- We have to mention the defense, even though it was really a skeleton unit with 5 starters sitting out due to injury and another in Tommie Saunders getting injured on the first series. The most impressive thing I saw today was Tyrell Taylor and Nate Askew providing pressure on the outside on third downs. Tyrell has made noise before, but Askew is playing an entirely new position as a SAM linebacker. Sumlin mentioned on ESPN he is one of the best athletes on the team, and he is showing it off the edge with exceptional burst off the snap. That kind of third down pass rush is exactly what this defense needs. You have to think that playing with the lead a majority of the time, both will have many opportunities to make their presence felt.
Also on defense, Donnie Baggs showed us he had natural instincts at MIKE linebacker, making great plays in the running game at the line of scrimmage. And in the secondary, I'm not entirely convinced about this new group just yet. Floyd Raven has been the talk of the spring moving to Free Safety from the corner. Raven made aggressive plays on the ball, but there was still some breakdowns causing receivers to break free, uncovered. This will be the concern with the new safeties. Both are great against the run and sure tacklers, but can they cover and have minimal breakdowns? That has been the problem in the past for both.
That's it for now. We will have a lot more coverage of the spring game later this week from a panel of your favorite GBH writers.