Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ag Football Recap: Ags Stomp Hogs, 58-10

This was a game that I wasn't completely sure what would happen in.  Arkansas has been in a complete tailspin - but we know they have talent on their roster.
Would their first game outside of state lines give them some breathing room?  How would their defense handle Johnny Football?  Would our bend but not break defense do enough to stop their potent passing attack?

No, badly, yes.

The 11:21am kickoff was a bit troublesome for us - we didn't get up to College Station until about 10:15am and we parked way off somewhere in the Southgate neighborhood so it was a good little walk to the stadium.  By the time we had met up with everyone and got everything situated we couldn't get to our seats because the new Walk of Honor entrance was set up.  So we made lemonade out of lemons and hung out to watch the players come through under the stadium.  We were squeezing down our row to our seats right at kickoff.

It has become a reoccurring theme, but Johnny Manziel was the star of the show.  He was 29-of-38 for a school record with 453 passing yards and 3 TDs.  He ran for an additional 104 yards and another TD.  He became the first D1 player in NCAA history to throw for 400+ yards and rush for 100+ yards in a single game.

He also broke Archie Manning & Rohan Davey's SEC record for total offense in a game (as well as the A&M record) with 557 yards.  This is in his 4th career start.

(and how on earth did Tim Tebow not own that record)

To me, the most impressive thing is that he is taking care of the football.

It's not even that he is putting up these crazy numbers, it's that he is a human highlight film out there.  He will run from hash-to-hash and then spin around and do it again until he either sees an open receiver or gets some running space.  It's an excitement that we haven't had in quite some time.
Ryan Swope was finally Ryan Swope again.  He had 141 yards on 5 receptions, including an 80 yard TD run. With his 100 yard performance he broke the school record - he has 10 of'em now.  Mike Evans continues in beastmode - he led the squad again with 6 receptions and had a TD and 83 yards.  Then there is Thomas Johnson who made his first big splash with 108 yards on 5 receptions.

The three headed tailback approach was pretty successful again - Ben Malena led the group again with 8 carries for 59 yards and an additional 11 yards from 3 receptions (including a TD).  C-Mike picked up a TD on the ground and Trey scored his first TD at Kyle Field with an exciting 13 yard run that he bounced to the outside when things got too congested on the interior - and dove and hit the pylon with the tip of the football before falling out of bounds.

We had 716 yards off offense on only 79 snaps.

The defense was the definition of "bend but don't break".  We gave up 515 yards but only 10 points.
We got heavy pressure on Tyler Wilson - no sacks but lots of big, clean hits on him.  Toney Hurd Jr. led the squad with 12 tackles - he was all over the field.  Steven Terrell had two big interceptions and Damontre Moore forced a fumble that was returned for a TD by JUCO corner, Tremain Jacobs.

We came out of the gates on fire, marching 72 yards on 9 plays for a TD on the opening drive of the game.  We forced an Arky 3-and-out and then drove the field again but had to settle for a FG....that we missed.  Arkansas would score a TD to tie the game and then take a lead with a late 1st Q field goal.
The turning point in the game was about half-way through the 2nd Q.  We were leading 13-10 at this point but Arkansas was moving the ball on our side of the field.  Knile Davis ripped off a big 28 yard run and then Wilson threw a 16 yard pass to get the Hogs to our 10 yard line - but the play was called back due to an illegal formation.  Arkansas backed up to our 30 and Wilson threw an incomplete pass before throwing his first INT to Terrell.  It took us 3 plays to score and extend our lead to 20-10 - and we never looked back.

It could have EASILY been 17-13 Arkansas had things not flipped around on them.  We ended up scoring 17 points on 3 Arkansas turnovers.

Here are a couple of other quick notes:
  • This game was expected to be played during a monsoon of rain.  It was a 90% chance of rain for 11am.....and it did rain but it was pretty off-and-on.  The only time I needed to put on  my poncho was just as the second half started - it rained pretty hard for about 10 minutes.....and then the sun came out and we dominated.
  • I don't think SEC officials call holding penalties.....this is going to take some getting used to
  • We finally got the SEC monkey off our back - I'm not sure when our last win over a SEC team was, but it has been a long best it was during the '90s.
  • The offensive tempo improved....we're getting to the line and getting plays called and the ball snapped much more quickly than we did against Florida
After the game we made the long walk back to the car and ran by Wing-N-More for lunch/dinner....after we were seated it took us 17 minutes to order/eat/pay.  W-N-M is a well oiled machine of greatness.

Next week we make our first SEC road game as we travel to Oxford, MS to face Ole Miss.

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