SMU vs. Texas A&M: 10 Things We Learned in the Aggies' Win
Despite missed extra points, a turnover and more than a dozen penalties, Texas A&M had no problem defeating in-state rival SMU at home on Saturday night.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel was his usual self, and the Aggies defense came to play.
With the first road contest of the season looming next week, Texas A&M showed it is ready for SEC play to heat up.
The Aggies knocked off SMU 42-13 in a final score that did not come as a surprise.
But, with such a predictable outcome, what stood out for the Aggies in the 29-point victory?
Here are 10 things we learned about Texas A&M on Saturday night.
The Penalties Could Be a Problem
While there were penalties on both sides of the ball, that is still no excuse for Texas A&M to have as many as it did.
The Aggies finished the game with 13 penalties totaling 114 yards.
Most of the penalties came on the offensive side of the ball. There were numerous holding calls and also a few false starts.
Against stiffer competition, that is going to have to be cleaned up if the Aggies plan on staying in the SEC title race.
Johnny Manziel Never Ceases to Amaze
Even though he only played a half and one drive into the third quarter, Johnny Manziel dazzled everyone tuned in on Saturday night.
While he might scramble a little sooner than most, or even when not completely necessary, Manziel was his usual self all night long.
He finished the game with 244 yards on 14-of-21 passing with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 102 yards and two scores on 12 carries.
What stood out the most were some of the elusive runs he put together to keep plays alive.
Even though he has done that before, seeing it again is always amazing.
The Defense Can Get Pressure on the Quarterback
It might have helped to know that SMU was going to pass nearly every play, but either way, Texas A&M was able to get some serious pressure on SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert all night long.
Gilbert threw the ball 62 times for 310 yards, but he was under pressure for much of the game, particularly in the second half.
That pressure helped force three turnovers and held the nation's leading passer in yards per game in check for most of the night.
The Texas A&M Rushing Attack Continues to Impress
Even though Johnny Manziel was the leading rusher once again with 102 yards, a few other running backs showed that this team can grind it out when necessary.
Ben Malena rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries with two scores.
Fellow running backs Tra Carson, Brandon Williams, Trey Williams and Brice Dolezal also saw action.
Overall the group (quarterbacks included) totaled 265 yards and four touchdowns on 48 carries.
Malcome Kennedy Might Be Developing into a Stud
With the exception of a long 46-yard reception, star wide receiver Mike Evans was virtually non-existent.
One player who stepped up and continues to improve is wide receiver Malcome Kennedy.
He caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Kennedy is quickly developing into one of the top targets on offense for the Aggies.
Kennedy has caught at least three passes in all four games this season and already has four touchdowns.
If Manziel Goes Down, It Might Be Trouble
When Johnny Manziel came out of the game, the Texas A&M offense struggled to move the ball.
That is not immediate cause for concern, but it has to be in the minds of some with how many times Manziel gets hit every game.
Backup quarterback Matt Joeckel was 4-of-9 for 63 yards, and third-stringer Kenny Hill finished 1-of-5 for nine yards.
Not exactly the type of performances head coach Kevin Sumlin was looking for.
Time of Possession Does Not Mean Anything
It is becoming more and more evident in college football that time of possession is almost completely meaningless.
The Aggies had no problem putting points on the board against SMU. Those points were coming in bunches and also very quickly.
Texas A&M only won the time of possession by less than two minutes, but that did not seem to matter, as the 29-point victory clearly showed.
Deshazor Everett Has a Wealth of Potential
Defensive back Deshazor Everett showed he can play anywhere in the secondary.
He came up with a 12-yard fumble return for the Aggies to help put the game out of reach before halftime.
Everett has the ability to play both cornerback and safety for the Aggies.
The junior will be a valuable asset down the stretch for Texas A&M.
The Kicking Issues Need to Be Resolved
It is not often that a team misses three straight extra points, but that was the case for the Aggies on Saturday night.
After making two straight extra points, starting kicker Taylor Bertolet missed the next two. He was then relieved by backup Josh Lambo. His first extra point was blocked before he barely squeaked his second one through.
Three-of-six overall on extra points is something this team is going to have to work on.
The Aggies Appear Ready to Hit the Road
After four straight home games, Texas A&M appears ready to hit the road.
The Aggies will travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas next weekend.
With two straight road games, Texas A&M will not return home until Oct. 19.
Getting away from College Station seems like it will be a good thing for the Aggies.