Let's start with the Auburn game when Texas A&M finally found consistency with both the running and the passing game. The Aggies finished that game with a 49% success rate, but for three quarters, they were humming along at near 60%. The last three possessions were three and outs, nine plays without any success, so that dropped the overall number, but prior to that, it was as good as A&M has played all year. 15 plays of at least ten yards was a nice rebound after so many weeks of not making big plays. Considering that in the three games prior to the Auburn game, our three starting running backs only managed ONE run of 10+ yards (an 11 yard run against ULM), having six such runs against Auburn alone was great.
The Mizzou game was a bit more of a struggle. The Aggies only had a 41% success rate. However, a couple big plays really helped and A&M was a yard away from scoring 34 points on a rainy day against the 15th best defense in the country. Not necessarily a bad day.
Looking at the running backs, they continue to not only rotate carries, but rotate effectiveness. All three have good weeks and bad weeks. Brandon Williams, for example, had five mini-explosives (runs of 7+ yards) on 12 attempts against Auburn, but then had zero effective runs on seven attempts against Mizzou.
Tra Carson and Trey Williams also had decent days against Auburn, each with four mini-explosives (on ten and nine carries, respectively), whereas against Mizzou, Tra Carson kept it up with a 60% success rate and three mini-explosives (on ten carries), while Trey (keeping up?) had only four carries.
Kyle Allen is playing fairly efficient, consistent football the last two games. One thing I've noticed is that our wide receiver rotation has really tightened up. Not as much subbing as we were doing earlier in the year. For proof, 80% of his passes the last two games have targeted Speedy Noil, Malcome Kennedy, Ricky Seals-Jones, or Josh Reynolds. Our four starters. Guys like Boone Niederhofer, Sabian Holmes, Ed Pope, Jeremy Tabuyo, etc. are not getting the reps (and therefore, the targets) right now. I think it's helping Kyle Allen.
Josh Reynolds and Kyle Allen have been on point lately and Reynolds is Allen's favorite downfield target. Allen has targeted Reynolds 15 times in the last two games, with 11 completions for 213 yards and four touchdowns. Over 14 yards per target when looking his way. That's a fantastic number.
For safe, move-the-chains type passes, Allen is looking at Seals-Jones quite often. He has targeted him 14 times in the last two games, completing ten of them for just 66 yards. Not even five yards per target.
Malcome Kennedy is a nice blend of the two. Plenty of short, safe targets along with a few big plays. He's been targeted 12 times, with seven catches for 140 yards in the last two games. 11.7 yards per target.
Speedy Noil is the one that I argue needs to get more passes. He's only been targeted seven times by my count in the last two weeks, catching just four passes for 52 yards. If we can incorporate him more, it will really help.
Regarding Noil, you may recall in the middle of the year when we started moving him around to different positions, putting him in the slot, etc. That has gone away. As we've settled into our starting four receivers (and gone back to being a primarily 10 personnel team the last two weeks), we've kept them all in the same place. I assume this is partly to keep things simple for Kyle Allen. With a bye week to prepare for LSU, I would not be surprised to see A&M show a few more things in the way of formations, trick plays, and personnel movement.
Once we have our bowl opponent set, I will do a big, comprehensive summary of the entire season along with, hopefully, a couple posts looking at the Aggie offense in greater detail and looking at the bowl opponent. Happy Thanksgiving, and BTHO LSU!