Sunday, October 21, 2012
Ag Football Recap: Ags Fall to #6 Tigers, 24-19
Unfortunately, things weren't better by Saturday morning and I had to forgo my trip up to College Station for the game to take care of the kids. This is only the 4th home game I've missed in 13 seasons, so it was kind of a big deal - but in life you have to have priorities and this time something actually was more important than Aggie football.
Thankfully it was televised and some genius invented the DVR (how is that guy not eligible for a Nobel Prize?)
The Ags came out of the gate swinging. We marched down Kyle Field and scored on our first possession....and promptly missed the PAT. It was the third missed PAT in as many games. That is bad.
We tacked on a 32 yard FG in the first quarter and then hit a 52 yarder in the second quarter to stretch the lead to 12-0. That's when things got a bit ugly.
We forced a punt on the following possession but Johnny threw a really bad INT that gave the Tigers the ball at their own 42 yard line. They marched down the field and scored on a 20 yard Michael Ford TD run.
With 1:49 remaining in the half we tried to answer but six plays into our drive Ben Malena fumbled and the Tigers got the ball at our 41 yard line. Zach Mettenberg hit Kadrone Boone, who made an incredible diving over his shoulder 29 yard reception in the endzone.
Just like that, we were down 14-12.
The third quarter was a series of punts by both teams....except on the one drive we had something going. Johnny hit Mike Evans, who I LOVE, with a beautiful pass on a short slant over the middle but the ball bounced off Evans' chest and was picked off. I don't think anyone would have caught Evans if he had held onto the ball - it should have gone for a TD.
Luckily, this was the one turnover that LSU didn't capitalize on, and they missed a 54 yard FG attempt.
We forced a punt and then Johnny threw another INT which gave the Tigers the ball at our 47 yard line. One play later it was 24-12....Jeremy Hill took it to the house. He had a career rushing day with 127 yards on 18 carries.
I am proud to say that this team of ours has a lot of fight in them and they played hard on every snap. We were able to answer with a nice drive that ended with Ben Malena scoring from 5 yards out, bringing the score back to 24-19.
We turned around and forced a punt to get one more shot but just didn't have the time to march down the field and score. The game ended on a crazy attempt to re-create the Music City Miracle....but it ended with a fumble recovered by LSU. Ball game.
We finished with 5 turnovers (four real ones, not counting that crazy play at the end), two missed FGs and a missed PAT.
Manziel was held without a TD (rushing or passing) for the first time in his career. He threw for 276 yards on 29-of-56 passing with those three INTs. Ryan Swope was the team leader with 10 receptions for 76 yards and Ben Malena led our rushing attack with 82 yards and a TD on 18 carries.
They finished with only 316 yards of offense while we put 410 yards on their incredible defense (a season high against them). It was squandered opportunities and turnovers that did us in....it was so frustrating to watch because we played well enough to win. A team that forces 4 turnovers (they scored 21 points directly off of turnovers) and benefits from 3 kicking miscues should win the game by more than 4 points. We're not supposed to be able to compete with these guys.
The silver lining is that this is us just getting started. It's our first season in the SEC and through 7 games our only two losses are to the #2 and #6 teams in the nation - by a total of 8 points.
I'll take some of the blame for this one - since the start of the 2006 season, the only two home games that my brother and I did not sit together ended as losses ('11 Mizzou and '12 LSU). We'll work on not letting that ever happen again.
We have Auburn next weekend, who is a complete train wreck, but then stay on the road playing #1 Alabama and #11 Mississippi State before coming home for a breather against Sam Houston. This is why we wanted to be in the SEC - it's the best league in the nation and big games are so much fun. It's an exciting time in Aggieland.