Mid Season Review and Look Ahead

Aggie Football 2017

The Halfway Point

Well Ag’s we are right where I thought we would be and one win away from where I had hoped we might be (and, with just a bit of bad luck, we could be sitting at 3-4 right now……..but we are not and I am reasonably happy.)

What I am most happy about is that we had to change our starting QB in Game One; why is that so important?

Most dummies listening to the media in the pre-season and think “I guess Sumlin has not made up his mind because he has not announced a starter yet” but that is far from the truth. Fact is that Nick Starkel and Kellen Mond have widely different skill sets, specifically:

  • Starkel: A classic Pro-Style QB who would rather take five sacks than leave the pocket.
  • Mond: A duel threat QB but not a classic Pro-Style ; I did not believe it either as he seems to have “happy feet” at times and does not seem to have near the burst of speed we saw with Johnny Football and other duel threats. Yet at the IMG Academy (if you do not know who they are, please look them up) Mond holds the record for passing TD’s and rushing TD’s in the toughest high school schedule in the country.

So, long before the UCLA game Sumlin had indeed made his decision because the game plan is not even close for a “Starkel” as it would have been for a “Mond.”

The O-Line (we will get to them later) would have spent the last month prior to Game One practicing classic pass-blocking and not even thinking about the words “Break-Break-Break” when the QB left the pocket because Nick Starkel would never have left the pocket unless it was to pick up a few yards and then only a few times per game; certainly, never the sort of gain we saw Mond against Arkansas or the numerous times against Florida (and what kept us in the game.)

It is a different mindset for the O-Line, they have to be ready to break away from the line and, possibly, run downfield twenty to forty yards…………..big, big, big change.

Looking Forward

All things being equal; meaning, no improvement, no loss of performance, I see the following:

  • Mississippi State: Toss-Up
  • Auburn: Loss
  • New Mexico State: Win
  • Ole Miss: Win
  • LSU: Toss-Up

Based on the above we will wind up either 7-5 or 9-3 and that is the difference between a bar fight and WWII.

Impact of the O-Line and the Future

If anyone can tell me how the Offensive Line will play, I will tell you how the rest of the games will go. With Bama and Florida, the O-Line was abused. Jim Turner has got to get this unit playing better. Noel Mazzone has Kellen Mond standing tall in the pocket facing the rush because the running game is anemic and, as said above, Mond is not a “classic” pocket passer to begin with and is prone to “happy feet.” Mond is slow to see the field and then gives up too quickly.

Said another way:

  • No running game.
  • Hit or miss passing game.
  • Hence, four field goals against the Gators (thank God we made them all.)

A&M should beat MSU because State doesn’t like playing on the road.

In fact, our Aggies could win every game remaining on the schedule, or, with the exception of New Mexico State, lose every game remaining, depending on the O-Line……………..you tell me.

My Personal Guess

Assuming improvement in the O-Line which improves the run game:

  • Mississippi State: Win
  • Auburn: Loss
  • New Mexico State: Win
  • Ole Miss: Win
  • LSU: Win

Season Record: 9-3

Bowl Game: Citrus or Peach (Unless Georgia & Alabama both make the playoffs in which case the Aggies will go to the Cotton Bowl.)