First of all - IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON! HOORAY!
Sumlin took his team on the road for the season opener - in conference play, against a top 10 opponent, televised as the first game ever shown on the SEC Network - and dog stomped the Gamecocks.
I didn't see that coming.
Everyone kept asking me before the season, "How are the Aggies going to do without Johnny?" (and almost everyone said it with a smirky laugh). I just smiled and said, "The offense will still be able to score, but not quite as much, and the defense has emense talent, but they're all freshmen and sophomores. If we have a winning record, I'll be happy with the season. But just wait until 2015 & 2016."
Haha - that's all out the window now. Let the endless possibilities and unreasonable expectations loose.
With a 5pm CST kickoff (seriously?), our gameday consisted of me leaving work at 4pm to pick up Bekah from school and then go pick Benjamin up from school and then head to Sean's house where we were having our game watching party. I figured it would take me 45 minutes to get there and I even warned him that I might beat him there. It took me an hour and forty minutes. I was LIVID. Houston traffic sucks.
Thankfully, an Aggie invented the DVR, and Sean was kind enough to wait for us.
We got the ball first and Kenny Hill, in his first career start replacing the greatest college football player of all time, just marched us right down the field for a TD.
Hill finished the day breaking the school record with 511 passing yards. He had 3 passing TDs and was 44-of-60 (also breaking the school record for completions in a game). He was the 6th QB in SEC history to reach the 500 yard mark in a single game.
He was in complete control - no situation was too big. It was the definition of poised. He played like a junior or a senor - it was amazing.
Even with a 24 point 4th quarter lead, Sumlin left Kenny in to finish the game rather than let true freshman, Kyle Allen, get a couple snaps. I was a little surprised about that so it will be interesting to see how that shakes out over these next couple of weeks.
Hill found 12 different receivers, including Malcome Kennedy 14 times (for 137 yards). Tra Carson also banged in 3 TDs on the ground. We had 99 snaps and only four went for a loss - including a kneel just before halftime.
It was the most yards and points that South Carolina has ever given up.
The win landed us the first blow in the SEC-forced cross division rivalry we now have with USC, topped off with a newly invented trophy - the Bonham Trophy. I'm sure in 15 years or so that'll mean something. Maybe?
The win also snapped an 18 game home winning streak by the Cocks, brought Sumlin's road record to a staggering 11-2, and stunted USC's chance at a 4th consecutive 11-2 season. It was also only the second time that Steve Spurrier lost a season opener in his illustrious career (you have to go back to his days at Duke to find the other).
On the defensive side of the ball, the two standouts to me were both true freshmen - S Armani Watts and DE Myles Garrett. We all knew that Garrett was going to be a freak but Watts played the best game at safety we've seen in years. He had two EXCELLENT, clean, safe, bone crushing hits that prevented big gains (one in the endzone) and he picked off an errant USC pass (that came on a big pressure by MG).
With all that good news comes a little bad. Starting MLB and TCU transfer, AJ Hilliard, dislocated his ankle and will be out for a long time and human/hulk Cam Clear tweaked his leg. Clear was on a bike during the game so I imagine it wasn't a serious injury - I imagine the coaching staff will play it safe with him for a couple of weeks leading up to conference play.
With the win the Ags leapt from #21 in the pre-season polls all the way to #9. Everyone's endless possibilities and unreasonable expectations are definitely loose.
This weekend we host Lamar at the halfway newly rennovated Kyle Field. The place will be rocking and with the expanded seating this year (due to the construction schedule we have more seating this season than we will when the project is completed) it should be the largest crowd in school history (as will all the games this season).
And away we go.....