First off, IT'S OFFICIALLY BAMA WEEK! BTHO ALABAMA AND SABAN AND McCARRON'S CHEST TATTOO.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
JOHNNY BEING JOHNNY -- We got two different Johnnys tonight. In the 1st quarter, we got the bad Manziel the media wanted to see last week. He didn't trust his pocket, he gave up on the play too fast, and was throwing off his back foot. That led to bad passes and an interception near the goalline. In the 2nd quarter, Johnny got back to being a real quarterback in staying with the play, setting his feet, and delivering some dimes down the field. Johnny finished with 426 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. In all, A&M had 500 yards passing on the night, and 718 yards of total offense. The offense didn't flow at times tonight, and it was clear the coaches wanted Johnny to work with a new group of receivers as much as possible. Mission accomplished. I was also a little surprised we showed so many formations tonight. We saw the pistol with two backs and the diamond formation. We also saw a lot of the fly sweep with LaQuivionte Gonzalez. I feel sorry for the poor Alabama graduate assistant who will be up the rest of the night charting these formations and plays.
GOOD OR BAD DEFENSE FIRST? BAD DEFENSE -- Well, the Aggie defense didn't come out with much fire against Sam Houston State. The Bearkats drove right down the field against A&M on the first series and cliff jumpers began to unite everywhere. However, they settled down the rest of the game. But, they still allowed three more big plays that ended up as scores -- a coverage breakdown leading to a Flanders TD, poor assignments leading to another Flanders TD, and finally just a beautiful pass and catch against decent coverage. The biggest takeaway defensively is that we are in trouble at the safety position. Floyd Raven was hurt early and didn't come back into the game. The rest of the way, Howard Matthews was spotty against the run and Clay Honeycutt against the pass. That is not a good combination, and I feel pretty confident in saying safety play is the biggest weakness in the team right now, with little depth behind the starters.
GOOD DEFENSE -- Yes, there were some good defensive takeaways on the night. First, Mark Snyder should never play a three man front ever again unless on a 3rd and long. The Aggie defense is so much better with a four man front led by Kirby Ennis who eats up blocks and allows the linebackers behind him to work. Next, Tommy Sanders made big improvements from Week 1 to Week 2. Alonzo Williams also had a much better game, and was no doubt helped by the four man front and the return of Ennis. The corner play was really good for most of the night. Alex Sezer Jr. was great in place of the suspended Deshazor Everett. His penalty was a pretty poor call in my opinion. You can't ask for better coverage than that. Tramain Jacobs also played well -- that long TD pass against him was just a great throw and catch.
GOOD YOUNG DEFENSE -- The best sight of the night was the young, freshman Aggie defenders getting into the game and making huge plays given the opportunity. One interesting observation was that the defense didn't substitute for much of the game. It was the same starting group out on the field until the middle of the 3rd quarter. But when Darian Claiborne came into the game for a struggling Donnie Baggs, Claiborne had a tackle for loss and then tipped a ball on 3rd down that would be intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Nate Askew. Why Claiborne didn't play until then is a mystery to me. Daeshon Hall also made plays for the defense when he came into the game, getting penetration on a 4th down play. Isaiah Golden also played well. In my opinion, all three Aggie defenders should be starting against Alabama. Here is your starting group up front ---
Alonzo Williams (SDE) -- Isaiah Golden -- Kirby Ennis -- Daeshon Hall (WDE)
Darian Claiborne (WLB) -- Steven Jenkins (MLB) -- Tommy Sanders (SLB)
That group is our BIGs, the best we got.
SHOULD EVERETT PLAY SAFETY? -- An interesting topic that sprung up on Twitter during the game was whether or not Deshazor Everett should slide over to play safety next week against Alabama, since safety play has been poor up to this point. I like the idea. De'Vante Harris will return next week from suspension, and both Jacobs and Sezer Jr. have played well. They could man the corners and allow Everett to roam the middle of the field. However, we are playing the best WR in the SEC next week in Amari Cooper. Everett on Cooper is a match-up that has to be played all game. One compromise could be Everett playing corner on first and second downs, allowing him to play the run on the corner and also cover against play action. Then, move Everett to safety in passing situations. Interesting topic for discussion.
KENNY HILL -- Enough said. Strong, strong debut.
99 RATING ON SPECTACULAR CATCH -- Upgrade your NCAA 14 rosters. Both Mike Evans and Ja'Quay Williams made some sick one handed catches tonight. Look for them as potential Sportscenter Top 10 plays.
I think that about covers it. IT'S BAMA GAMEWEEK!