Game one for the 2009 Texas Aggies is completed. During the entire offseason fans have had a number of questions in regards to what this team will look like this year.
At first glance, the 41-6 victory over the New Mexico Lobos Saturday night answered most of those questions.The defense looked more athletic and played much faster.
True freshman Cristine Michael is as good as advertised and can only get better. Cyrus Gray looked strong running and blocking. The offensive line needs work. Oh, and the Von Miller guy, he played OK too.
Below is a list of what I saw tonight that I found to be good, bad, and very ugly.
Jerrod Johnson—He looks like a much better manager of the game. He showed confidence in his lineman even though he ran for his life a few times tonight.
He trusted his young receivers enough to lob them a few deep passes (44yd TD pass to Kenric McNeal; 42 yard bomb to Uzoma Nwachuchu). 31-41 for 349 yds passing, two TD passes, 57 yards rushing, and one rushing TD is not to shabby of a start for his junior year.
A&M defense—Played very well. They were fast and flew to the ball. They had a great goal-line stop, a few forced turnovers, five sacks, and held the Lobos to 21 yards rushing and no touchdowns.
Von Miller—Lived up to the hype, on this day at least. He was matched up against a projected NFL Draft prospect in LT Byron Bell. Von Miller responded with three sacks. For those keeping count, I believe he only had 3.5 all year last year!
Cristine Michael—Seven yards away from being A&M's first 100 yd rusher in a game since Mike Goodson did it in the loss to Oklahoma State last year. Goodson ran for 112 yards on eight carries (80 yards was on one run) in that game. After watching C-Mike tonight make a few highlight moves, Mike "No-Goodson" will not be missed for too long.
A&M Secondary—Yes, I just talked up our defense who only gave up 21 yards rushing and a respectable (not great) 210 passing yards.
It could have been worse.
Lobos QB Donovan Porterie was erratic with his passing and his receivers dropped more than a handful of wide open passes. Walk-on Justin McQueen showed why he was a walk-on tonight. Youth will eventually be this team's savior in the secondary, but right now they could very well be its undoing.
Rushing Game—It took quite awhile before any semblance of a running game showed up for either team. Eventually it did and the Ags ran pretty well. But as the Fightin' Farmers get further into their season, they need to be much further along than where they are now.
Offensive Line—Marked improvement was definitely seen tonight. However, this OL is nowhere near ready for the opener against ANY Big 12 team. They will be, I have faith in that, but they still have a little ways to go. Ags should consider themselves lucky they got a bye week and two more games before Arkansas.
Penalties—This was the most ridiculous game I have ever seen in regards to penalties. A&M had 14 of them for 123 yards. You spot any other team on A&M's schedule 123 yards and I will show you another season when A&M goes 4-8.
I can live with the roughing the quarterback penalty on Von Miller. He was a step late and it was a good call. I want a DE or DL that hits the QB with regularity to let him know they are there. The pass interference calls are okay too, it shows the team being aggressive and not just letting the WR's blow by them. However, 14 is WAY too many.
Aggie Fans—In all my time watching Texas A&M football I have never been as disappointed in my fellow A&M fans than I was when a great number of them cheered upon the announcement that Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford was hurt. Definitely not classy and uncalled for.
All in all this was a great game. For the first time since the Aggies 38-30 win against Texas at home a couple years back, the Aggies put together a nice well-rounded game.
Let's hope they can keep improving over the course of the next three weeks. It would be nice to leave Arlington with a W. Imagine: Top Ten ranked team in Okie State heading into Kyle Field against an undefeated A&M team. The place will be electric!
TIP OF THE HAT TO:
Baylor—Great road win against an ACC team that is expected to vie for their conference championship! Good Job Bears
Okie State—National stage, ton of hype, a tough SEC team, and a win. Gundy and Co. did a good job! Way to represent the Big 12.
Missouri—Chase who? Props to the Tigers on their blowout win against Illinois. I am not sure ANYONE picked you to win, let alone blow them out!
BIG 12- Very solid opening week. The Big 12 was one upset loss from being perfect this week. Its going to be a very exciting Big 12 season!