So here we are, Aggies. A few days removed from the first loss of the inaugural SEC season, and everyone is already lining up to do lemming impressions. Now, as an Aggie, I can appreciate "Battered Fan Syndrome" as much as the next guy. It's easy after years of hype and letdowns to let this get the best of you. I'm going to encourage all of you to calm the hell down because of the following reasons.
THIS IS WHAT WE WANTED
Remember a year and a half ago when we were all clamoring to play with the "big boys?" We wanted "national recognition" and to "finally separate our brand" from that of the Big 12? "To be the best you have to play with the best" was what I heard all offseason, and to be clear, I believe the same thing. Now, in our first matchup, we had a chance to win. A good one. And we did it with a new coaching staff who started a dynamic freshman QB in his first game. You can talk about the second half woes all you want with this team, and that's fine. Until they prove otherwise, they're the team that struggles to hold on to a lead. But let me caution you, these aren't last year's Aggies. They will get better and they might surprise a few people down the road.
HOLY CRAP, PENALTIES
The best thing about that first game of the season is that it's usually against a team you can handle while working out the kinks. Florida was penalized 14 times for 100 yards in their opening win vs. BGSU. This week they came back with a mere 21 yards worth of mistakes. The Ags? They chalked up 9 penalties for 78 yards in their opening game against an SEC opponent. You can't do that against a top 25 team in your first game and expect to win. Period. They'll come back far more disciplined against SMU next week in the battle of "Who deserved the Death Penalty more."
ERRY DAY I'M SUMLIN
I love this guy. I really do. Watch this and tell me you wouldn't run through a freaking wall if he told you to. He's what you want in a football coach. Do you think any of those guys are going to make the same mistakes next week? Hell no. I watched Sumlin get in their faces personally as they came to the sidelines, and had it been me, I'd have needed a change of pants. Love the fast paced style of the offense and our defense exceeded expectations in their first outing. Let's all realize what we have here, a big up and comer in the coaching department.
JOHNNY FOOTBALL, MEET MIKE EVANS
Yessir. Manziel led the team on some impressive first half drives, showing no fear. In fact, I'd say he showed complete confidence and remained cool under the pressure of this start. You could absolutely tell what all of his coaches have said about JFF leading up to this game. He doesn't think, he knows in his mind that he's the best on the field and he shows it. What we need to see is a more composed QB in the second half. In the first half, he just played. In the second half, he tried to force it. I think that may have been a nice humbling moment for JFF.
Mike Evans lead the team in receiving yards with 60, averaging 8.7 yards per catch. Man, this kid just attacks the ball. Gotta love it.
I'm no football coach, I'm just a caveman. But what I do know is that this team showed more swagger and ability than I can remember at Kyle Field in some time. They're conditioned, competent and very well coached. I'd love to see more out of our running backs. In the first half, we ran the ball. In the second half? Not so much. Let's use those mashers we have up front and send a good dosage of Malena, Michael and Williams at the Ponies next week.