Well that was fun. This was the Aggies' first shutout since joining the SEC. In fact, it was the first shutout since we blanked Wyoming 31-0 in 2004. We shut out a conference opponent on the road. That's pretty damn cool. Lots of good and a decent amount of bad to break down in this game.
Before we get into it--we have to talk about that fourth and short call where we decided to throw a bomb downfield. What was that? Was that a read by Allen or was that a called play by Spav? If it was an audible by Allen why the hell does he have the freedom to check into that but not to check into run plays when Vandy was running a 5 man box? That play was the silliest thing I've seen in a while.
Let's talk about the great part of this game. I know Vanderbilt isn't an offensive juggernaut, but we held them to 23 yards passing and 125 yards rushing. Read that again: 23 yards passing and 125 yards rushing. That rushing yard stat is especially pleasing to the eye given our struggles defending the run this year and the fact that Vandy has a pretty decent RB back there.
What's even more encouraging about this game is that it sure seems like we may have found a consistent player at linebacker. Richard Moore played really really well tonight, and it's going to be impossible to take him off the field moving forward. 2016 doesnt seem too scary when you think about the possibility of getting Alaka back from injury alongside Moore.
Great night for our defense. Played well everywhere.
The offense put up 486 yards. Allen threw for 336 (and should have had more) and looked as poised and as comfortable as he has all year long. It's easy to see now that Kyle will be your starter against LSU because he's the best QB on this roster. Kyler will have his day, but this is Kyle's team.
Before we get into the playcalling, I'd like to give a shout out to Tra Carson. Tra had 126 yards against a stout front four. He averaged 5.7 yards a carry. This season Tra has really made a name for himself as a really really solid running back. He's only a few yards short of 1000 this year.
Now onto the redzone playcalling. Mannn, I dont even know where to start. It's one thing for spread teams to struggle in the redzone. Field gets shorter leading to fewer options. But 1st and goal at the 1 yard line and we cant punch it in? Third and three and we run to the edge with Carson? Our redzone/short yardage play calling is either incredibly predictable or mind numbingly dumb at times.
And that's not all on the play calling. Execution wasnt sharp down there either. WRs running routes that put them in the same spots as teammates or linemen missing blocks completely. Redzone and short yardage playcalling has been a frustration for at least the past two years. Something needs to change. Something needs to improve.
Great win tonight. We got #8 in a convincing fashion. But we now begin the biggest week in Kevin Sumlin's tenure here at A&M. We have to break that winless streak against a reeling LSU team. This game means a ton for standings purposes and for where we end up as a bowl. But more than that...getting that 9th regular season win would mean a great deal going into 2016. Big big week ahead. Time to get your mind right