A&M vs. Bama

Review TAMU vs. Alabama 2017

Loss 27-19

I went to my first Aggie game on a cloudy Thanksgiving Day in 1963. I was excited as a light rain fell. Now, older UT alumni will tell you it was a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky and  the field was wet only because the Aggies stayed up all night with sprinklers on the field hoping a sloppy field might help the Aggies against the 9-0 Horns who were #1 in both polls.

I even met a guy once, a Horn, who said he got there early and witnessed fifteen, or so, grounds keepers with hoses watering Kyle Field; I do not believe him anymore than I believe Skinheads planted bombs in the World Trade Towers and there were no airplanes……..num-nuts are all around us and I do my best to avoid them.

What made that day special was that we had lost President Kennedy only six days earlier and it was not until the Tuesday before the game that both schools agreed to play, so dad and I drove up from Corpus Christi.

I still have the pinnate my dad bought me that day.

My beloved Aggies lost in a final seconds of the game and it remains cemented in my mind as I cried for the first two hours of our drive back to Corpus (and that was a 6 ½ hour drive back in the day.)

Since that day, fifty-four years ago, I have attended many Aggie games; certainly over a hundred. Counting those I have watched on TV or listened live sitting next to a radio……..yes, youngsters, we really did listen in on the radio (it was broadcast on The Humble Oil…..now Exxon……College Football network) back in the day……it is well into the hundreds so I say the following will some level of expertise.

Of all the teams that have come and gone wearing Maroon & White I think my favorite all-time Aggie Team was the 1998 Aggies that won the Big-XII Conference title and played Ohio State in the Sugar bowl New Year’s Day 1999.

Why are they my favorite? They never gave up, ever, and this current group of youngsters (with only a handful of talented upper-classmen) seem to have the same grit and my opinion is that the stage is being set for a very good A&M football team for some years into the future.

So, let’s look at some numbers from the past Saturday Evening:

Alabama:

  • Rushed for 232 yards while they average 316 yards per game; and note, of the 232 yards on the ground 102 of them came on just two plays.
  • Passed for 123 yards with 13 completions of 22 attempts while they average 181 yards per game.
  • Scored 27 points but average 44 points per game.
  • 3rd down conversions were 28.6% while they average 44.1% so far this year.
  • Gave up 19 points to the Aggies, yet have averaged giving up only 8.6 per game this season.
  • Gave up 308 yards to the Aggies which is 59 more yards than their per-game average (and do not forget Alabama has the #1 rated defense in the SEC.)
  • Bama averages twenty-eight 1st downs per game but only got sixteen against the Aggies.
  • The Tide was only able to convert on four of fourteen 3rd down conversions for an average of 28.6%.

Aggies

  • The A&M defense played an awesome game……….awesome.
  • Kellen Mond continues to improve and had some scrambles that resulted in big time plays.
  • Jalen Hurts has been sacked six times this year of which three came on Saturday night. And every Alabama O-Lineman is a pre-season pick to be All-SEC (1st, 2nd, or 3rd team) while our Ag’s had only one player picked as All-SEC on defense (Armani Watts, 1st)
  • The Defense recorded nine tackles for loss which is the 2nd best we have had, so far, this year and that was against the O-Line I mentioned above.
  • Big Plays killed us which has been a worry of mine since post-UCLA game.
  • Sophmore Tyrel Dodson recorded 19 tackles and is turning into a BEAST.
  • We had no running game; specifically 40 rushes for a total of 71 yards or 1.8 yards per carry. So far this year, and before the Bama game, we averaged 225 yards per game on the ground. You cannot beat a team like Bama with this sort of performance.
  • To carry that thought forward, on average, the Ag’s gain 10.8 First Downs per game through our rushing efforts and against the Tide we got four First Downs via the run game.
  • Remember, we while got 14 First Downs, two came on penalties which means the Ag’s only got 12 legitimate First Downs.
  • 3rd down conversions were 3/14 which is 21.4%………and that is no way to beat the #1 team.

Bottom Line:

  • We lost because we could not establish the running game; period. Establishing the running game opens up the passing game and without it the passing game suffers.
  • Basically, the Aggies wasted forty plays (forty rushes for an average of 1.8 yards per rush.)
  • When it comes to determining what team should win and by how much, one needs to look no further than the established Las Vegas betting lines and those lines showed the Ag’s should lose by 26.5 points. Yet, we lost by nine and it was not just a close game by luck; Bama did not turn the ball over six times, the Ag’s did not run three punts back to TD’s, it was a hard-fought game between two, well-matched teams.

Moving Forward

Florida is a major……….major………major game in terms of the remainder of this season as well as if we will get a new coach.

As it stands our Aggies are 3.5 point underdogs against the Gators, and with all respect to Vegas, I do not see it:

Check out the detail below:

  Points Scored Y/PL 1st Downs Rush Attempts R/Yards Y/Per Rush P/Atmps YP/Game Yards Per Pass Total Offense Time of Poss T/Overs
Offense                        
A&M 34.33 5.49 22.17 46.83 224.83 4.81 30.5 200 11.32 424.8 32.41 1.17
Florida 25 5.71 16.41 36.22 155.41 4.29 24.6 192 12.62 347.2 29.03 1.41
                         
Adv. A&M FL A&M n/a A&M A&M n/a A&M FL A&M A&M FL
                         
  Points Against Y/PL 1st Downs RA RY R/Avg PA PY P/Play T/Allowed Time of Poss T/Overs
Defense                        
A&M 27.83 5.63 18.33 33.33 118.5 3.56 34.5 263.5 13.29 328.9 27.17 1
Florida 24.23 5.65 19.61 36.42 156.1 4.29 29.6 217.2 13.92 373.3 30.56 1
                         
Adv. FL FL FL n/a A&M A&M n/a FL FL A&M FL n/a

 

Having giving it a lot of thought, and as someone that knows college football, and factoring in only what really, really, matters I think the Ag’s have a substantial advantage over the Gators.

Add to that the Gators are very banged up: Senior Safety, Nick Washington will miss the game, DB Brett Heggie, LB Jeremiah Moon, Receiver Tyrie Cleveland and Receiver/QB Kadarius Toney will be game-time decisions but will be, at best, playing hurt.

So, my money says the Aggies will beat the spread and, in fact, might beat Florida like a drum……….but that is my opinion.

Gig ‘em

 

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