This game could have gone a lot of different ways.
Texas A&M returned home after an emotional, physically draining overtime win in Arlington to face a pesky, ranked SEC West squad led by a Heisman hopeful senior quarterback. There were some hiccups and stalls, but the Aggies did a hellvua lot right to win convincingly 30-17.
What did we learn?
Kyle Allen is still scratching the surface on his incredible potential. Allen had himself a day. He rode the momentum from the Arkansas game and was dealing early against the Bulldogs. Allen started 21-28 before sputtering for a stretch where he went 1-9 that was hamstrung by a couple bad drops. The final stat line? 25 for 41, 322 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. That kind of line is going to translate into Ws at home.
If you watched other games from around the country today, you saw some very inept, choppy, sloppy, and terrible offenses. A&M wasn't perfect tonight, but Allen had a great game. He spread the ball around, found Christian Kirk when he needed him, and was building a nice rhythm with Ricky Seals-Jones before RSJ was ejected for a comically bad targeting call.
Kyle Allen makes serious NFL throws and the strides he is making with his poise are coming just before a massive stretch. If this team is to make a serious run at Atlanta, it is going to be on the back of Kyle Allen and a defense that can play opportunistic and bend-but-don't break.
Ah yes, the defense.
The good: the A&M defense was aggressive and opportunistic. They forced two big turnovers (one in the shadow of their own end zone) and held Dak Prescott to a very pedestrian evening through the air. Myles Garrett resurfaced in a big way after being mitigated in large part by Arkansas. Armani Watts flies all over the field and will continue to emerge as a leader.
The bad: this unit still has serious question marks in defending the run. Assignments, gaps, and push are all lacking for stretches. Mississippi State had 196 rushing yards on 34 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per. This is simply not sustainable in our league. There are offenses in Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge that will feast if things don't get rectified.
This is a damn good win.
Five weeks ago, if I would have told you that Texas A&M would be 5-0 going into its Bye with Alabama looming, you would have been thrilled. The usual whiners are out critiquing how the sausage is made. Spav is the usual target. He shouldn't be. He didn't call a perfect game. Guess what - no one in America did today either. The Texas A&M offense had 516 yards with remarkable balance - the 322 passing to go with 194 yards on the ground - against a legit SEC West team.
Oh, and zero turnovers. That means this high powered offense with its nagging flaws has yet to turn the ball over in eight quarters of SEC play. Josh Reynolds has his requisite, ho-hum 7 catches for 141 yards. Christian Kirk was all over the field and had a marginal games by his standards. Tra Carson got his 100+
Texas A&M is a damn good football team. If you aren't convinced, examine the carnage in the Top 10 today. A&M beat a ranked opponent by double digits. The Ags are heading into their Bye undefeated. A visit from you-know-who looms after their utter destruction of Georgia. The Hate Barn was built for these kind of opportunities.
Gig 'em. This is your celebration thread.
Beat the hell outta Alabama.