Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Quarter Review of the Aggies

The Aggies are through three games of the season. In my preview I stressed the importance of getting big leads to enable the team to have flexibility to get guys reps and to give some flexibility to explore the offense. The team delivered beating their first three opponents by a combined score of 135-55. Many of the opponent’s points came at the end of games while defensive subs were playing. As an A&M fan I don’t think that you can ask for a better first three games. The Aggies did what they needed to do and blew out all three teams.

The Offense
Going into this weekend A&M is sporting the number one offense in the country. This is miraculous given the fact that A&M’s best receiver Jeff Fuller is out with a cracked fibula for 1.5 of those games and Ryan Tannehill, the Ag’s second best receiver, is getting limited reps as he is also the back up quarterback. The best part about the receiving corp is that A&M doesn’t just have one go to guy. The Aggies have thrown to thirteen different receivers. Six of them have scored touchdowns in a game. Additionally, six receivers have over 50 yards receiving. Jerrod Johnson is doing a great job of leading the offense. His accuracy on mid range balls is questionable at times, but he tends to miss away from the defender and has zero interceptions through the first quarter of the schedule. If he threw crossing routes in stride then A&M would have a few more break out plays. Sherman (one who rarely compliments) came out and said how well Johnson is audibling at the line of scrimmage. Obviously as a fan those are things I can’t know one way or the other. The fact that Sherman comes out and says it in a press conference shows the level of confidence he has in Johnson’s ability. Johnson is averaging 320.3 yards 3 touchdowns per game passing; and 65.3 yards 1.3 touchdowns per game rushing. As mentioned above Johnson has zero interceptions and zero turnovers through three games. An overlooked unsung hero has been Jamie McCoy who is the teams second leading receiver at tight end. He's blocking extremely well and is even playing fullback to confuse the personel assignments for the defense. A&M is also moving the ball on the ground averaging 244 yards per game. Christine Michael the freshman running back is truly special and through two games has averaged 93.5 yards per game. In both he played about three quarters. Michael could be the best back A&M has had since Leeland McElroy. Cyrus Gray the incumbent starter doesn’t have all of Michael’s tools, but is a great back who fights for every yard. Gray is currently averaging 67 yards per game and is the workhorse of the group. Our weakest unit on offense is the offensive line. Pass protection has been good and at times great, but I’m not sure if it will hold up to some of the more salty defensive lines in the big 12. The run blocking has been serviceable but not great. The interior guard play is decent and a lot of our break out runs are through the middle, but the tackle spot has been slow to develop. Stephen Barrera has just moved into the left tackle spot as of last game and scored out well. I’m curious to see how he and the rest of the line does against a more formidable opponent this weekend.

The Defense
If you could say one thing about this defense compared to last years it’s that they are capable of making big plays. You couldn’t say that last year. I still don’t believe it as I type it, but A&M leads the nation in sacks. Last year the Aggies had 16 sacks all year and through three games the 2009 total is already at 14. Leading the way is the national sack leader Von Miller with 8 through three games or 2.67 sacks per game. Miller is fast, plays with his pads low, and strong as an ox. He’s the real deal and the best pass rusher I’ve seen since I’ve been watching the Aggies religiously (2001 season). Featherston is also a suitable back up at the position and makes plays of his own with 1 sack and 3 tackles for a loss. The defensive interior line is the weakest unit on the field for the Aggies in my opinion. Tony Jerod-Eddie is starting to make some plays up the middle during passing downs, but the run defense is questionable for those guys. It’s rare to see them move the line of scrimmage backwards. I’m concerned about getting gashed up the middle by some of the bigger offensive lines starting with this weekend. The linebacker spot is easily the most improved unit on the defensive side of the ball. It’s great to see linebackers shedding blocks and running to the ball. The unit has about 70 tackles on the season or about 30% of the team total. Two of our top three tacklers are linebackers Kyle Mangan and Garrick Williams. As we move ahead this year I want these guys to overtake Trent Hunter as the leading tackler on the team and continue to perform against the more aggressive offensive lines of the big 12.

I’m not sure how this season will end up. Most importantly though this team, which is playing 30 underclassmen, is playing above its individual talent level. I haven’t seen that in a really long time. I’m not sure that we beat Arkansas this weekend, but I know that this team won’t quit and will give 110% on Saturday. For that reason I love this team and what they are capable of. My prediction for the season still stands at 7-5; if we pull out Arkansas or Oklahoma State then 8 wins becomes something worth talking about.


  1. didnt read this because i hate everything Aggie, but ill just add an obligatory GO COOGS, because i can.

  2. Haha I was rooting for the Cougars on Saturday as were most A&M fans that has to count for something. Sumlin was successful at A&M for several years and alot of people are huge fans.

  3. Please review Tucker Max for your Blog.

    -Adoring Blogreader