Much like the last time Texas A&M had an SEC night game on the road, a dreadful start and huge plays in the fourth quarter proved too much to overcome. I love the fight and grit of this team, because in both games vs Ole Miss and LSU the team came out a little flat and got punched in the mouth, but found a way to respond. Yes, questionable calls and no calls are frustrating by the refs, but the Aggies should never have been in that situation to have a bad call or two beat them. The Aggies basically outplayed the Tigers in one quarter and had a chance to win, there has to be more execution and consistency going forward. And there will be, this team is full of young talent that will only get better, wiser, and more disciplined.
The other parallel to the Ole Miss game was the storyline of Achane getting you back in the game and then suddenly getting amnesia and not handing him the ball in the fourth quarter. I am 100% team Jimbo, but I really hope there is some self-evaluation into end game execution and play-calling this off-season. With a four-point lead and less than five minutes on the clock, I was just very surprised that the identity of this team was not leaned on more. Run the Dang Ball.
Whatever... let’s try not to vomit and check out the tape from Baton Rouge... it wasn't all bad but overall it's nauseating that we found a way to lose this game.
Clemons is a bully!
The first of four Clemon’s sacks... wash rinse, repeat. This time Clemons used brut force and a nasty bull rush to put the left tackle on skates.
The second sack was set up from the first one and the overall physical dominance Clemons had over the tackles all night. The tackle braces for the bull rush and wants to run Clemons up the field and past the pocket, but Cyclops was ready and hit’em with a nasty spin move inside to destroy the QB.
The third time is not the charm for the left tackle... straight bull rush dominance again, this was not a fair matchup and Clemons is in complete control. Why LSU didn't give that kid some help with a TE or back is beyond me.
Once Clemons was wrecking the entire left side of the line, Elko brings pressure from the right side, and its a race to the QB. Richardson wins the race this time and gets Johnson to end the drive.
Once again Clemons is collapsing the pocket and Johnson has to attempt to escape, but Leal is there to make sure the Aggies get another sack. The front four played a gem of a game, and if any unit gets a pass from me, it's the D-Line.
The last sack from Clemon’s is bittersweet, yes he had another great play, but look at the clock and the field position... how did we lose this game?!?! Another spin move inside, Clemons was on another level Saturday night and sure as heck rose his draft stock!
Jalen Preston time to shine!
Like so many Ags, it would have done my heart good to see Jalen score once because the kid has stuck it out and played his butt off for this program. If you go back and look at many of the big play touchdowns this year, you will see Jalen blocking 40, 50, 60 yards downfield... he is a selfless, tough, well-rounded receiver. Couldn't have been happier for him Saturday night. The first one is a simple crosser to exploit the middle of the field, but Jalen breaks a few tackles to get a hard-earned TD!
The next Preston play was a huge third-down catch on the sideline to keep a critical late-game drive alive. He runs an out route past the sticks and makes a contented catch while keeping his feet in bounds to keep the Aggies alive.
Preston for the lead! Great job by Calzada keeping the play alive and Preston working back to his QB when he sees he is in trouble. After the catch, it's all Preston and his friends blocking downfield and taking it to the house, Ags take their first lead of the game.
Achane ignites the run game...
It was a slow and painful attempt at the running game for most of the night, but like Ole MIss, Achane’s attacking style gave the Ags the spark they needed on offense to soften the defense. Green has a great block and is able to work the second level on this gasher too!
More of the same in the same drive, Achane is doubling and tripling the entire night's run total in one drive. Unfortunately, the Aggies got away from this formula before LSU proved they could stop it.
Mistakes too much to overcome...
Penalties, no calls, forward progress without a whistle, drops, contactless sacks, blown coverages, the disappearance of the run game, and more all lead to the last 60 seconds going down as it did. My view on this game is it never should have been relevant... the Aggies played within themselves from the middle of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth and below average the other 45 minutes. Not sure what causes it but both neutral site games and the last two road games cause this team to struggle mightily, especially on offense. Not sure what that means for the bowl game. Last clip here, huge blown coverage play, and then the game-winner. Give credit to Johnson too, the kid literally got the hell beat out of him by the Aggie defense but throw an absolute dime to win the game, as he was getting hit again.
This game was so tough to watch and after the full sample size of the 2021 season, I think it is fair to say this team is just not good on the road. I think it boils down to the inexperience on offense with young lineman, backup QB, and several starting receivers out. The defense has been solid enough all year to win and win big, the stars just didn't align this year to play championship-level complementary football. The good news... the offensive line will be so much better next year after going through these growing pains and gaining valuable experience. The quarterback competition is going to be full of talent and let the best man win. The defense has as many young stars as veterans and I don't see that unit taking a step back. Oh and that little recruiting class Jimbo is cooking... that bad boy has a chance to be historically good for this University. I know with the landscape of college football and everyone wants to win yesterday, the timeline is stretching out longer than most would like to see, but man, it sure feels like the wait will be worth it. There is something to be said about having continuity in the coaching staff, great recruiting, and player development. One more game this season, BTHOwhoeveritis & Gig’em!