Sometimes college football is best enjoyed without any context at all. Like forget about this game within the context of the other games and this game within the context of the broader conversation about our program or how good Miss. St may or may not be...let’s just enjoy this game because man everyone has earned this.
Your Fightin Texas Aggies up 51 points and beat the absolute shit out of Missississippi State behind a surprisingly good performance from first time starter Jaylen Henderson and 4 takeaways on defense.
Let’s break it down.
Fresno State transfer Jaylen Henderson has been in college since 2020 and never started a game. He was the next man up due to injuries, and in a night game on national TV...just managed to be our leading passer (obvs) and our leading rusher. Like he just comes out and takes the team downfield like it’s nothing.
The stats arent super gaudy (aside from 4 TDs!) or anything, he finished the game 11/19 for 150, with 2 TDs passing, and 12 carries for 60 yards with 2 TDs...but not only did he take care of the ball, he was decisive in an offensive scheme that can lend to QBs getting a little bit of paralysis by analysis. He ran when he needed to. He ripped off some great throws. The kid has something...and what I appreciate is that he seemed to get more confident and better as the night went on. Good for him.
We came into this game with something like 5 total INTs all year long, but we had 3 in this game alone, and that’s without Bryce Anderson playing...but we did get Chappell and Harmon back after both having missed the Ole Miss game. 3 INTs could have easily been 4, and maybe 5 with the right breaks.
The best moment was Jared Kerr coming free on a perfectly timed blitz and knocking the ball loose only for Shemar Stewart to get himself a big man TD by running it into the endzone.
It’s fun to see them have fun.
Of course, there are concerns. Jaylen didn't play perfectly but there were times that he made playing offense look easy, which is something we don't get to see very often with Jimbo. Will we force him into a box now that he’s played his first game? Or will we continue to structure the offense to his skillset and build around that? And where the heck has David Bailey been all year?
What does this game mean for Jimbo’s future? I have no idea.
It feels good to beat a team and empty the bench. We haven't had an empty-the-bench game in a long time...much less against a conference opponent. The players looked like they were having fun and my goodness that felt good to watch after some of the games we’ve played this year.
Enjoy this win. All of us have earned this.