Wheeeeeew, boy. Where do I begin with this one? Another overtime win for A&M over Arkansas. Four straight wins versus the Hogs. A nice little win over Bert. I'd be doing a disservice to not talk about the bad (and there was a lot of bad in this game), but we have to start with a few good facts. Like, really good facts.
Kyle Allen was 21/28 for 358 yards and 2 TDs. That's damn good. Allen is a very solid quarterback when he's given the opportunity.
Christian Kirk had 8 receptions for 173 yards. That's also damn good. Kirk will go down as the best wide receiver to come out of Texas A&M.
The Aggies took care of the ball this game. Zero interceptions zero lost fumbles.
Josh Reynolds is a monster. The move he put on the DB to get the 2-point conversion was straight fire.
Somehow in the fourth quarter the Aggies came alive and managed to do what they do offensively and defensively. Myles Garrett was finally able to be a difference maker. A&M managed to maintain composure in overtime and beat the Hogs on both sides of the ball... culminating in a huge defensive stop by De'Vante Harris to end the game.
Good game. Great game. Glad it's over.
I'm not going to dwell on the negatives but there are four things about this game that concern me about the Aggies moving forward:
1) Injuries. Alaka went out during the game and was in street clothes on the sideline. At one point in time A&M was playing true freshmen Riley Garner and Dwaine Thomas. That's not good news. A lack of depth at the linebacker spot is going to bite A&M this season.
2) The Aggies struggled at the line of scrimmage. It's not all that surprising on defense since Arkansas has the biggest offensive lines in the country... I get that. They are a terrible matchup for A&M's defense. John Chavis needs to fix some things like overpursuit by the defensive line.
A&M's offensive line is more concerning. Arkansas was able to get pressure with only four rushers. That's not good. We heard earlier in the week that the offensive line was a quick fix, and I'm starting to doubt that. I think even Arkansas fans will tell you that their front four isn't that good.
3) I really don't think I like the way the Aggie coaches are managing the QBs. I get that Kyler is a change of pace guy, but I HATE the whole "put him in and let him run the ball on first and second down and then let Kyle throw on third." If you're going to let Kyler play, give him the playbook and let him throw a little bit. Or just let Kyle handle it. I am not a big fan of the current situation.
4) Playcalling still leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the red zone. As good as it was in the first half, it was equally bad in the second. The emphasis on the zone read and the lack of imagination in the red zone is concerning. I feel like a jerk for saying that given the Aggies' performance late in the game and in overtime, but it's the truth.
I'm hopeful that history isnt repeating itself and the Aggies will take care of business against Mississippi State next week. They've got some stuff to clean up, but it's better to be cleaning things up at 4-0 than at 3-1. Good win and great night.
BTHO Mississippi State