Monday, November 18, 2013

Ag Football Preview: LSU Tigers

Tiger Stadium.  One of the most revered atmospheres in all of college football.

Over the last five seasons the Tigers have lost twice in Death Valley, to #1 'Bama in 2012 and to #1 Florida in 2009.

But then again Johnny has never stepped foot into Tiger Stadium.

Johnny spent his bye week like he should....chillin' with Drake who just so happened to be on the Texas leg of his tour.  Should Sumlin be upset about this?  Heck no, he was the Drake show the next night in Houston. 
Sean and I stopped by Tiger Stadium during our road trip to Auburn last season but like a game at Ole Miss, an SEC night game at Tiger Stadium has been on my bucket list for years.  Fortunately for our chances of winning, we're not going to get exactly that with a 2:30 kickoff but it will definitely be dark before the end of the game.

Regardless, I'm pretty excited.  

Here's a quick preview:  They're going to pound the ball and then attack us with play action to one of their freak WRs.  There will be at least one trick play.  It is going to be a shootout and we're going to have to convert 3rd downs and TDs.

If we can go 2-0 at LSU and at Mizzou we're going to go to the Sugar Bowl and Johnny will win his second Heisman.  It's all there on the table for the taking.

But first, we have to get past Tiger Stadium.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ag Football Recap: Ags Send off Kyle Field with a 51-41 Win over MSU

Say goodbye to her as you know her.  They started demolition within an hour of the final whistle.

It was also Senior Day as we cast our farewells to Ben Malena, Steven Jenkins, Jake Matthews, Toney Hurd, Derel Walker and the rest of the senior class.  They committed to us coming off of a bleh season and a horrific bowl loss....before Von Miller was VON MILLER, before the SEC rumblings even started, before "new" Kyle Field was even a sketch on a napkin, and before Sumlin.  They helped us get to this point.

It was also Sophomore Day as we saw Mike Evans and Johnny take Kyle Field for what should be the last time.  What a tandem - wow.

We got to see the 12th Man block a punt for a safety - our second safety via blocked punt in as many weeks.

We got to see Trey Williams break off an electric 103 yard KOR.

It was a good day.

Johnny had another one of those plays where the entire stadium went silent for a nanosecond because they were gasping in amazement while their brains attempted to comprehend how he could be running at full speed, juke one way and reverse spin the opposite direction at the exact same time to avoid an 18 yard sack? 
You can't even do that in a video game.

By the way, he completed the pass to convert on THIRD AND TWENTY FIVE.

Johnny had 493 yards and 5 TDs and set the school single season record with his 31st TD pass AND the all-time record with 9,040 career yards.  Mike Evans also set the single season record with his 1,263 receiving yards after his 6 catch 116 yard performance.  Remember, we have three games still to play.

In the three games we've kicked off at 2:30p on CBS this season, Johnny has accumulated 1,557 yards and 15 TDs while Evans has 24 receptions for 681 yards and 5 TDs.  THREE GAMES.

All that said, I still don't feel like we've put it all together on offense...the numbers are there but I feel like it still hasn't hit on all cylinders.  I go back to the last five games of 2012 and it was just so fluid, we were completely unstoppable.  This year, there are 3-and-outs, stalled drives (insert "Thank goodness for Drew Kaser" comment here), and turnovers.

I know, I'm crazy.

My favorite part of the day was the final 2 minutes of the game.  We attempted to take a knee (there was officiating confusion and 4 MSU timeouts) but in the down time we got to give Johnny an appropriate send off.  He was pretty fired up and motioned to the student section to get loud, and saluted them.  Then after the game, he ran over and jumped the wall into the crowd to sing the War Hymn with the student body.  It was cool to watch.

We're off this weekend which gives us a little bit of time to fine tune the game plan for our upcoming games against the Tigers (at LSU & at Mizzou).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ag Football Recap: Ags Cover Against Miners, 57-7

We opened the game by blocking a punt for a safety but the score at the end of the 1st quarter was just 9-7.  The line on the game was 45 points so there were a lot of people pretty frustrated with the performance.

Fortunately we went on a 55-0 run to finish things off (including our 1st Q TD).

Johnny finished with 340 yards of offense and 6 more TDs (4 passing/2 rushing) before coming out of the game with 7:39 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

Kevin Sumlin apparently saw something in practice this week because Kenny Hill came in as the 2nd team quarterback and finished the entire rest of the game.  I'm curious what happened to keep Joeckel from getting any time (usually they split mop up duties about 60/40).

I thought Hill looked as good as he has all season.  He was 5-for-6 for 57 yards and hit his former HS teammate, Sabian Holmes for a nice long completion.

We did have a scare late in the 4th quarter when Tra Carson went to the turf following a fumble.  The medical staff was out there for a very long time and he was taken off the field in a stretcher - with his helmet still on (which they usually only do for head/neck injuries).  The word on the street is that it was all precautionary and he didn't even have to go to the hospital (and the x-rays were negative).  Pshew.

Darion Claiborne led the team with 12 tackles and a forced fumble - he has quickly turned into a favorite of mine.  Howard Matthews also picked off his second and third passes in the last two games.

Next week is Mississippi State in what will be the final game at Kyle Field in it's current configuration.  It will also be Senior Night, and we might very well be saying good bye to two of the greatest - Mike Evans and Johnny Evans.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ag Football Recap: The Commodores Sink at Kyle Field, 56-24

This was a weird game for me because I missed the first half.....and I never miss an entire half.

I'm the assistant coach to my son's soccer team and the head coach was out of town this weekend so I couldn't miss his game....which started at 10:30am.  His game would be over at 11:15 and it takes me exactly one hour to College Station and then usually 35 min. to park and walk to the stadium (and then 10 minutes to get up the ramp to my actual seats) but with the 11:21 kick-off, I was hoping to make it by halftime.

The unfamiliar situation spawned a great thing though.  My son has been asking weekly why he can't come to the Aggie games with me and honestly, it's because I don't think he could sit through an entire game, but this gave me an opportunity to take him and only have to worry about him making it through the second half.

I packed us a lunch to eat, all our Aggie gear, and coordinated a ticket for him on Friday so as we were walking back to the car after his game I told him that we had better hurry up because he was going to the game with me.  We kissed Momma and sister good bye and headed up to College Station.

We listened to the game on the radio on the way up and the Ags had stretched the lead to 28-0 as exited HW6 into town and I got concerned that he wouldn't get to see Johnny Football play.  Coming off his shoulder injury I thought that we'd be quick to get him out of the game safely and keep him as healthy as possible for the final stretch of our schedule (at #12 LSU and then at #5 Mizzou).

Out of sheer luck, I found a spot to park at the corner of Welsh and Kerry, which is just a couple blocks from the stadium.
I had anticipated a good little walk and his little legs can't keep up with mine so I had also thrown his bike in the back of my truck for him to ride up to the stadium, which worked great.
We got through the gates and there was about 5 minutes left in the half so we watched a few snaps from down by the south end-zone bleachers and then headed up the ramp so he could see the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and all their formations.

He was really into waving his 12th Man Towel which made me proud.  I was also impressed with how much of the War Hymn he knew.  I've sing him The Spirit of Aggieland every night when I put him to bed but I'm not sure how he picked up so much of the War Hymn.
He was also remarkably sad when told him that we were going to build a new Kyle Field.  He wanted to know why they couldn't build the new one "over there" (pointing to Spence Park, which is visible from our seats) and argued that the current stadium has lots of seats already.  I'm not completely sure why he has such a nostalgic view of the stadium but I appreciated his concern.

After the half, we were treated to an opening pick-6 by Howard Matthews on the first play of the half.  We did get to see Johnny for 3 possessions, albeit only one was a full possession thanks to two fumbles (on the 1st play of the first drive and on the 2nd play of the second drive).  We ended with FIVE turnovers in the game.

Johnny left the after the third possession which ended with an 11 yard TD pass to Derel Walker with 6:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter.  He finished with 316 yards and 4 TDs (305 passing/11 rushing).

Malcome Kennedy had 8 receptions for 83 yards and Mike Evans had 5 for 77 and two TDs.

The defense forced 7 sacks in the game to literally double their season total.  Howard Matthews had a whale of a game, adding 14 tackles to his pick-6, as did Darion Claiborne, Steven Jenkins and Gavin Stansbury.

It was, without a doubt, the best defensive performance of the season.

The post-game was a big disappointment.  When we went back to bike rack where we had left Benjamin's bike, we discovered that someone else decided that they deserved it more and took it - training wheels and all.  I couldn't believe it and was seeing red.  He put on a big boy face but inside it crushed him - it was all he talked about on the way home.  It gutted me.

All in all, the day was a success but I just hope that he doesn't let the bike situation ruin the memories of the rest of the day.