We all know why we lost this game. We'll talk about the specifics and maybe kick around some ideas on how to fix it in a bit.
But before we get too far into this, please please do not give up on this team. This is a talented squad. We all knew that before this game we needed to play our best game to win and we didnt. We havent played a perfect game all year. It's coming though. This team has the ability to keep 1 loss from turning into 3 losses...and that ability will be tested this week.
Kudos to Alabama. They were as advertised. They confused the crap out of our entire team (coaching staff included) in the first quarter and ran away with the game. Oddly enough the reason they lost the Ole Miss game was because of turnovers. Guess they avenged that.
Derrick Henry 7 rushes for 152 yards in 1Q. 23 for 59 yards since. A&M D has given up just 20 points.— Troy Miller (@TroyRMiller) October 17, 2015
That tweet said it all. We needed to settle down and play our keys. Was some of it Kiffining? Sure, but I saw us plug holes, play our run fits well and maintain pressure on the QB. Our defense did their job today. I notice a difference in our team, last year when we went down big we got lazy and sloppy. Despite being down however many points we were down in the first our defense still played with fire. Call that leadership call that coaching call that whatever...but it's progress.
To call out a couple of people, I thought AJ Hilliard played his best game this year. His run fits (which he struggled with earlier) were outstanding. He was active all over the field. Zaycoven Henderson is incredibly disruptive on the inside and we can tell a difference when he's not out there. Daylon Mack continues to show why he was an all world player out of high school. Armani Watts and Justin Evans are the best safety combo we've had in forever. I could go on and on about the individual performances on the defense...but what I'm impressed by is that everyone focused on their job. Whether it was keeping contain or stepping up to make a big play, they did their job. Great effort from that group.
I thought the OL had a good day in pass blocking. Our OL is better on the run and they gave Kyle/Kyler plenty of time when the opportunity was there. Run blocking struggled, but everyone struggles running the ball against Alabama.
Wide receivers played pretty well. Proud of the effort Ricky Seals-Jones showed. Seemed like Bama was keying in on Kirk and Walker and Ricky made more than a few good plays. Best game he's had all season long. And there's not much that needs to be said about Christian Kirk. One drop aside his long punt return was a phenomenal thing to say. I cant really think of a time in my A&M fandom that we've had a gamebreaker like him back there. I still think we struggle to get off press coverage, but our WRs played fairly well.
Tra Carson runs with a lot of heart, but I really thought we missed Trey Williams. We need a true spread back to supplant Carson in the run game. We need a change of pace.
Scheme was fine. It was a vintage Spavital game, with some odd WTF type calls, but I'll give it to him later in the game he did his best to get his playmakers into space. Playcalling wasn't the issue today.
And now to the QBs. I'm kind of speechless and in this game we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Kyle wasnt feeling it in the first half...and Kyler just isnt seeing the field the way we need him to. Kyler can hit a WR if the WR is running free, but if you ask him to make long throws he's going to struggle. Today Kyle heard/felt footsteps all game long leading to his footwork being atrocious which led to high balls and picks.
I dont mind us rotating them. Kyle needs a wake up call every once in a while and Kyler does push the defense to adjust which in turn leads to openings for Kyle. We have two different talents that defenses have to adjust to and I dont mind using them as such.
On one hand part of me says this is what happens when you have a true sophomore making his 11th start...vs a true freshman...but we have to be better. The performance from our QBs was unacceptable tonight and it cost us the game. We have to be better than that. If we want to be the program we are capable of being we need better performance from our QBs. Granted that this was against the best defense we will see all year...but this was a bad day.
Today sucks. Absolutely sucks. But we are capable of finishing strong. And that starts with Ole Miss. We're 5-1 with a hard fought loss to a really really good Alabama team--and again this team has yet to play the game it's capable of. Let's hope that comes next week so we can get to 6-1.
BTHO ole miss