Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ag Football Recaps - Lamar, Rice & SMU

I have been insanely busy - at work, at home, & is a rundown of where everything stands thus far this season....

Ags Beat Lamar, 73-3

In all honesty, it was a sloppy and loooooong game. There was a 2 hour "severe weather delay" - but not a drop of rain and the student side was still baking in the late afternoon sun.

It was the unvailing of the "new" Kyle Field Part I and the 104,728 in attendance made it the largest crowd to ever watch a football game in the state of Texas and the 38,000 students broke the NCAA record.

I met up with a friend, John (who's house I built), at the Chicken before the game.  We caught up, checked out the local scenery and huffed it over to Kyle Field.  Then during the "severe weather delay" I ran into an ooooooooooold friend, Jacob.  We went to school together from 1st grade through college graduation and played soccer when we were kids and got our Eagle Scout awards together.  It was good to see him.
The game itself was eh.  Kenny Hill was solid and we got to see a lot of Kyle Allen.  I thought the highlight was a Malcome Kennedy catch in the back right corner of the NE endzone - he went up over two defenders falling backwards in the air letting the ball come down to him - it was incredible.

To this point in the season we have scored on 14-of-15 redzone chances (12 of which were TDs) - the one miss was the kneel we took to run out the clock and put SC out of their misery.

The fourth quarter got a lot of unfamiliar faces a lot of snaps, deserved and earned by the walkons.  Connor McQueen got in on the action, Brice Dozial ended up leading the team with 86 yards rushing and added a TD) and then Boone Niederhofer hauled in a TD catch and had another called back on a penalty.

Then there was the looooooooooong walk back to my truck which was parked all the way over in Bryan back behind Northgate.

Ags Down Owls, 38-10 

My father-in-law gave us his tickets and I was able to invite my old roommate, Pat, to come up for the game.   It was the first game he and I had been to together in years so it was great to spend that time with him.

I thought that Rice ran the ball really well against us but over the course of the game we just overpowered them.  They did make me concerned about Auburn. 

The big hubub after the game was the discussion of the playing surface.  College Station got 5" of rain on Friday night (it was bad enough for them to cancel Yell Practice) and apparently with the newly sodded surface it cause a lot of problems with footing.  It was really bad.  The field crew was literally running onto the field every time the clock would stop to fill and tamp the surface - to the point that the students were cheering for individual crew members and chanting "Tamp!  Tamp!  Tamp!" each time they would strike the ground.

The biggest scare as a result of the field was when Speedy Noil had to come out after an apparent knee injury (I've heard he'll be out 3-5 weeks and that he'll be out a couple of weeks - not sure what the truth is).

Ben Bass was our 4th string MLB going into spring practices - and due to injuries and attrition he was our starter tonight due to injuries (Claiborne was kicked off the team, Hilliard got hurt in the SC game and is likely out for the season, & Mastrogiovanni twisted his ankle against Lamar).

We were witness to one of the most bizarre sequences of the season just prior to halftime.

Rice kicked a FG with 4 seconds left but there were 12 Aggies on the field so there was a flag.  Since the penalty was technically pre-snap, Rice actually had to re-kick.  On the rekick, Ricky Seals Jones blocked it and Armani Watts ran it back for a 93 yard TD......but A&M was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when players from the sideline came onto the field between the time the ball was blocked and when Watts picked it up - they were thinking the half was over & were celebrating the blocked kick.  The touchdown was nullified and the ball came back to the A&M 42 yard line for one untimed down.  It was a crazy sequence of events.
Miles Garrett is officially a MONSTER.  He picked up 2.5 more sacks bringing his season total to 5.5.  He has more sacks than anyone on the entire 2013 roster.

Something I haven't mentioned was that this is the first year of the College Football Playoff.  There is some fancy committee that will pick teams for 4 playoff spots at the end of the season.  It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.  The Big 10 coaches are all calling for the conference champions to match up but that's because they suck and that's the only way they're going to get a team in.  Conversely, there are currently FIVE of the seven SEC West teams are ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Poll.  Not just SEC, but SEC West.  The division is 19-1 on the season - and that is only because Auburn and Arkansas played each other and one of them had to lose.


I've gone on the road to 24 Aggie games away from Kyle Field, with at least a dozen different people, but this was the first game that Benjamin and I will road trip for.  His first game was last season against Vandy after only previously experiencing M&W games and fall camp scrimmages but this was his first road game.  The Ponies keep it pretty tame so it was a nice jumping off point for him.
Even though it was just a trip up to Dallas, I played it up big and we prepped as if we were driving to Tuscaloosa.  We made a list of things we would need, we mapped out our route, picked out our Aggie gear to wear throughout the weekend - the whole nine yards.

As soon as I got home from work on Friday evening, we loaded up and hit the road.  Our route was planned to take us through College Station so we could stop and eat.
Benjamin got his first experience at Laynes, which he declared the best chicken strips ever.

We ended up getting to GrandAggie's house in Dallas quite late on Friday night but still chatted for a bit before hitting the hay.

Benjamin was up bright and early (like 6am early) and got to spend time with Cici.  He was actually pretty upset when she had to leave to run some errands as we were getting ready to go grab some lunch before the game.
The SMU campus is beautiful and they have a pretty nice little tailgating scene.

The game itself was pretty sloppy but SMU is really bad this year (head coach June Jones actually resigned during the bye week they had prior to our game) and we were up 38-3 going into the half.  Boone Niederhoffer worked his way into the starting lineup at WR with Speedy out and Jeremy Tabuyo had a breakout with a 50 yard TD reception and a 30 yard TD reception.

For the third week in a row, both QBs got a good number of snaps (but Kenny Hill has started all and is clearly the starter).
Since it was a 2:30p kickoff, it was pretty warm (I think the high was 93).  The stadium has no cover anywhere and the bench seats were scalding hot.  We were getting heat from below and above and Benjamin was wearing out fast (also combined with his minimal sleep the night before) so we headed back to the house and watched the second half on TV (the final score was 56-6). The last thing we wanted was for Benjamin to be miserable.

Even with the live game experience cut down, it was a great little getaway weekend and he got to spend some good quality time with GrandAggie and Cici.

So that is where we are through week 4 of the season....undefeated with a top 10 ranking about to open up conference play against the greatest collection of conference foes in the history of the NCAA.  I LOVE this conference.

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