Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ag Football Recap: WOW! STUNNER! 30-27!

Holy Moses that was a wild ballgame.

Locker room celebration:

That was pretty much the scene in the living room at our place.  If you bleed Maroon you have to smile at that - those kids love Coach Sumlin. 

We aren't supposed to win games like that.  Over the last few years we've been conditioned that we're the ones who give up double-digit 4th quarter leads. This isn't last year's team.

It was actually a wild evening in all.  Sean and Dad made a trip up to Austin this morning to shuffle some furniture around and I was originally told they weren't going to be back until 8pm.  Benjamin had a birthday party to attend from 6pm-8pm so Jennifer suggested DVRing the game and when they get back I can watch it with them.  That made sense.

So I set the DVR up for the game and on the way to the party I called Sean to let him know the plans.  They had left early and were just minutes away from the house so they were going to watch the game live.  At the party, the game was on one of the TVs - but I'm too obsessive to half-watch a game while trying to keep an eye on the kids and attempt to socialize so I worked really hard to not watch the game that was on over my shoulder.  Thankfully, there was no audio for it and everyone I spoke to was very courteous and no one leaked any updates to me.

When the party was over I got back to the house and put my fingers in my ears.  They were watching the game in the family room so I ended up running out to get some dinner and then sitting in the kitchen and started watching the replay while they finished the game in real-time in the family room.  Once the game was over in real-time, Sean left and I shifted into the family room and resumed watching the replay.

The first three quarters were pretty much wost case scenario.  I believe my comments in my preview were, "Bottom line: KEEP TURNOVERS IN OUR FAVOR AND WE WIN."  Well, we turned the ball over SIX - S.I.X. - times.  Our seniors played very poorly....C-Mike had a fumble, Swope had a fumble, Dustin Harris fumbled a punt, EZ completely disappeared (1 reception for -3 yards).  The wheels completely fell off.

I must have told my mom ten different times through gritted teeth, "You can't turn the ball over 4 times and win a game."  "You can't turn the ball over 5 times and win a game."  "YOU CAN'T TURN THE BALL OVER SIX TIMES AND WIN A GAME!"

I was told that I was a lot less emotional about it than Sean was.  I'm not sure how that is possible, unless Sean is now hiding in a storm sewer as the police helecopter circles overhead with K-9s barking off in the distance.

Johnny Football reminded us that he is freshman quarterback.  He threw two horrifically bad interceptions and had a careless fumble himself.

On the first possession of the fourth quarter he threw one of those interceptions.  It was a scramble to his left where he just turned and heaved the ball back towards the middle of the field - a huge no-no in it's own right - but the bigger problem was that there were two Ole Miss defenders there and not anyone in white on the TV screen.

How Sean was able to watch the third and fourth quarter in the family room without making any noise to give anything away to me in the kitchen - and then be able to come in and say goodbye without giving it away - will always be amazing to me.

Same goes for both my parents, who had watched it live with Sean.  When Ole Miss went up by 7 in the second quarter my mom asked, "So are you going to be mad?" I was convinced that she gave it away and we were going to lose.  My dad also dropped a couple of small comments that made me think we were going to lose - I was pretty impressed, they were very subtle and in the past he has given away scores/results and then tried to overplay it to throw me off but tonight there were no slip ups.

On Ole Miss's possession following the INT, we forced a punt after a monster DeMontre Moore sack and took possession on our own 12 yard line - we were down by 10 points.  What would happen over the next 8 minutes of football would defy anything seen in Aggie football over the last 10 years.

On the first play, Johnny tries to dance out of trouble and ends up getting sacked at the 1/2 yard line.  He was in the endzone but somehow he had the ball extended out when his knee hit so it wasn't a safety.  That in itself was a near miracle.

Two snaps later he hit Mike Evans on a 3rd-and-19 for a 32 yard reception.  Evans made the play of the game. Talk about a jump ball.

The next play, Ben Malena breaks off a 36 yard run to get us across midfield and then Johnny Football broke off a crazy 29 yard run to the endzone, completely untouched.  It was like the Red Sea parted for him.  3 plays, 97 yards, 1:23 of game time, 7 points.

On the following Ole Miss possession they got the ball and just wanted to eat up clock so they ran.  The box score reads like this:
Jeff Scott rush for 5 yards
Jeff Scott rush for 9 yards
Jeff Scott rush for 6 yards
Jeff Scott rush for 2 yards
Jeff Scott rush for 1 yards
Jeff Scott rush for no gain
 You can do the math on that.  They got into a 3rd-and-2 and Sean Porter blew up the play keeping them to just one yard.  After a VERY favorable spot, Hugh Freeze decided to go for it on 4th-and-1/8".  Porter came crashing in again and filled the running lane while Johnathan Stewart went through and stuffed Scott. 

Turnover on downs and A&M took over on the Ole Miss 39 yard line.  Had they picked up that first down (or possibly even punted) the ballgame is over.  Instead, Johnny hit Evans again for 13 yards and Malena picked up another 9 yards on the first two plays.  On our third play, we had a complete mismatch on the left side of the line because Ole Miss lined-up incorrectly but Johnny misread it and ran an option right - pitching to Malena for a loss of 2.
On 3rd-and-3, Ole Miss put everyone up on the line of scrimmage and Swope slipped behind the coverage and Johnny hit him for the 20 yard TD.

I somehow ended up on the other side of the room and I have no recollection of how I did it.

Just to keep things interesting, we missed the PAT, keeping the score within 3 points - 30-27.

Ole Miss marched down the field, uncomfortably easily and were just out of FG range when Tony Hurd Jr. stepped in front of an Ole Miss receiver and picked off Wallace's pass.  Hurd dropped to the turf and two kneel downs later the Ags are 4-1 on the season, 2-1 in SEC play.

A few random notes:
  • Damontre was held badly on several plays but still finished tied for a team high with 8 tackles and had two TFL, including that big sack
  • I am all for eliminating the Wild Cat from our offense.
  • Need C-Mike in the game on the short yardage downs - and I agree
  • Ben Malena had a monster of a game - 142 yards and a game-opening TD run
  • Johnny looked like he was really trying NOT to scramble on a lot of the plays
  • The OLine had a wonderful night giving him pocket protection, except when they brought outside pressure (they did that a lot in the 2nd half) 
  • Mike Evans continues to Wow.  He again led the team with 8 receptions for 105 yards.  BEAST.
One thing that I am suprised about is that I am glad I didn't take the first opportunity to road trip to Ole Miss.  This is a stop that has been on my Bucket List for years, but as it turned out it was pretty rainy and cold.  I want the full experience of The Grove, not a rain hampered one.

Next week we should be off, preparing for our huge game against LSU, but thanks to that Hurricane that canceled our season opener we will be traveling to Shreveport to take on an undefeated La Tech.  They are now ranked #23 in the polls.

But we're #22.....and rising.

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