Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ag Football Recap: Ags Roll Tide, 29-24

It seems like so long ago....
"The Aggies can't compete in the SEC"

"The Aggies are going to get killed in the SEC"

"We've upgraded with TCU"

Here's a better one for you:
"First of all, you've got to really congratulate Texas A&M's team.  They played a tremendous game and certainly out played us in the game today."
That last one was from Nick Saban's post game press conference.  Nick Saban!  He was sad.  That needs to be fed to recruits on a spoon.

Ten years ago, this week, Texas A&M offensive coordinator, Kevin Sumlin, coached his freshman QB, Reggie McNeal, to a victory over #1 Oklahoma. 

Today, Texas A&M head coach, Kevin Sumlin, coached his freshman QB, Johnny Manziel, to a victory over #1 Alabama.

Is it too early to start fundraising for a statue? 

Sean, Katie, my Father-in-Law, my wife's cousin (and her daughters), my wife's aunt....the whole gang was over.  It was a very spirited evening filled with OOOOOHHHHHH YEAAAAAHHs and OHHH NOOOOOOs.

Simply put, we went into Tuscaloosa and stunned the #1 team in the nation.  It wasn't a game they choked away, it was one that we went out and took.  It put A&M on the map and it legitimized us and our move to the SEC. 

We put up over 400 yards and 29 points on the stingy Alabama defense.

The game started out with a 'Bama 3-and-out and we marched down the field and scored on a 1 yard C-Mike TD run.  On 'Bama's second drive AJ McCarron threw a pass over the middle and Howard Matthews crushed the WR just as the ball hits his hands and it popped out right to Sean Porter.  It was the first INT thrown by McCarron in 142,974,928 pass attempts - and was really the only stat media folk could point to as to why he should be in the running for the Heisman

Johnny threaded a 32 yard pass on a post route that Kendric McNeal dove for and caught at the 9 yard line.  On 3rd down, Johnny took off to his right and ran into Jake Matthews and the ball popped out of his grip - but Johnny caught it out of the air, spun to his left, ran a few steps and then and found Ryan Swope sitting all alone in the back of the endzone.
"Oh my gracious!  How about that!"
                                       - Verne Lundquist
It was a brilliant Johnny Football moment.

We forced another 3-and-out and then manufacture a 14 play, 73 yard drive that manifested with another short C-Mike TD run.  Bertolet missed the PAT.  It has become a tradition.....but it's now 20-0 in A&M's favor.

As the second quarter started, the Tide picked up their first 1st down en route to their first TD drive of the game.   We couldn't answer....Johnny made another incredible play to find Swope for a first down but then couldn't convert on a 4th-and-6 a bit later - Johnny was pushed out of bounds about 10" shy.

Bama's next drive they had a couple of gashing plays before punching it into the endzone.  It amazes me how quickly momentum can swing in college football.  At this point everyone at the house got really quiet - an eerily, nervous quiet.  And it stayed that way through the half - that was the longest halftime ever - and well into the third quarter.

To start the third quarter we went 3-and-out but forced Bama to punt, who forced us to punt again.  Then they scored on a FG to bring the score to 20-17. 

We're all sweating bulletts....we've seen this play out before and the announcers make sure to remind us of our ghosts of 2011.

The offense finally started clicking again.  Johnny went to Mike Evans (the Beast) for a couple big first downs and ended up tacking on a 23 yard FG.  23-17 Ags.

The defense forces another 3-and-out so Bama punts to us again.

Johnny found Swope in traffic and Swope makes the catch and takes a WHOLLOP and picked up 15 more yards on a contact to the head flag.  Johnny went to Evans twice but Fulton has incredible coverage and forces incomplete passes (he had two on the prior drive like that as well).  Bertolet ends up missing a 37 yard FG.  ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

McCarron turned around and hit a 50 yard house goes silent.  On the next play, Yeldon coughs up a fumble and the Ags recover!!!!!  We went nuts.

On the first play, Johnny hit Swope on a wheel route - it was magnificant - Swope caught it in stride in double coverage....42 yards.  Ryan Swope is fearless and I love him for that.
On the next snap, Johnny hit Malcome Kennedy at the left pylon - Kennedy made an incredible juggling catch - for the TD.  We went for two and couldn't convert it but pushed the lead out to 29-17 with 8:37 left in the game.  Holy Moses, what a ballgame.

On the following drive, McCarron is inches from being picked again - Deshazor Everett went up for the ball and came down with his toe in bounds but his back heel landed out of bounds.  Then McCarron hit Amari Cooper for a 54 yard TD down the left sideline.  29-24 with 6:09 remaining.

We were forced to punt on another 3-and-out.  Alabama takes over with 4:27 remaning at their 40 yard line.

On the first snap McCarron hit Kenny Bell for another 54 yard pass to the 6 yard line.

Holy $*^#.

McCarron is dropped for a loss on 1st down.  On second down Lacy ran for 1 yard.  On third down McCarron scrambles all over the field, looks like he might have found an opening but gets hit and dropped at the 2 yard line.

It's 4th down and they are on our 3 yard line.  If they score, they take the lead and leave us with just under 2 minutes left.

Alabama puts the WR in motion from left to right and McCarron throws to him out in the flat by the right pylon - and Deshazor Everett stepped in front of the pass and picked it off!!!  I'm not even sure what I was screaming at this point in the game.  When I could take a breath during the commercial break I apologized to the others in the room in the event that something inappropriate came out.

Bama does force us to punt from right at the goal line and should have about 30 seconds left - but they are flagged for an offsides and we are given the first down.  Johnny takes a couple of kneels and the clock hits 0:00.  We celebrate joyously.  

This was easily one of the biggest wins in school history.

We have defeated the last two National Champions by a combined score of 92-45....and finish our season with an undefeated record on the road (La Tech, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, Alabama)

Johnny finished the game with 253 yards and 2 TDs passing and another 92 yards on the ground.  Thomas Johnson quietly had a couple of really big plays.  Mike Evans didn't huge numbers but he fought for several key first downs - the kid is so strong.  He's a beast.
Swope became the school record holder in career receptions.....he has 111 yards on 11 receptions and a TD.  In 7 SEC games, Swope has 48 receptions for 668 yards and 7 TDs.

Holy cow, the rematch next year at Kyle Field is going to be nuts!

We have Sam Houston State next weekend and then Mizzou right after Thanksgiving.  Then, barring some sort of nutso turn of events that would put us in the SEC title game, we wait for our bowl game....will it be the Captial One Bowl?  The Cotton Bowl?  The Fiesta Bowl?  It should be an exciting month and a half.


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