A few observations after a sober re-watch of Saturday's game.
1. We came out nervous and were a bit shell shocked. This was obvious with the uncharacteristic fumble by Gilbert on the return and several drops by the receivers. Even Blackmon juggled one. Being on the road for the first time (Tulsa doesn't count) with 86,000 + screaming fans is a lot to deal with. I think it took them some time to adjust to it and get into a rhythm. Invaluable experience though. It won't get much louder.
2. We really tried to establish the run early and it worked. I think this is evident not so much in the numbers, but more in how beat the A&M defenders became as the game went on. Our boys were working hard in the trenches and wore the Aggies out in the process. By the second half, A&M was gassed and that opened things up for our receivers.
3. The "dress up like a cadet" thing is so absurd. I'm shocked that these guys don't get their ass kicked every single day by real military dudes. Who knows, maybe they do. I hope they do.
4. Aside from the draw play by Tannehill, our defense played well from the start. Really frustrated the Aggies offensively. Shaun Lewis absolutely leveled Christine Michael at the end of the first quarter and Michael really wasn't the same the rest of the way.
5. Complete genius play when Anyiam made the catch on the sideline and we quickly snapped the ball to Kye Staley to avoid any review. Aggies probably didn't gameplan for Kye Staley.
The rest after the jump..
6. Weeden really struggled with the A&M coverage early. I think he was really focused on not throwing any picks so you have to credit his patience and determination. 60 throws without a pick is unheard of.
7. We started the 2nd quarter with a 3rd and 43. Luckily though, we have a guy named Quinn Sharp that can kick 55 yard punts so we made it out of that safe.
8. The defense really kicked it up a notch in the 2nd Quarter with the Ryan Robinson sack on Tannehill. I'll call that the "sack heard round the world" from now on.
9. We did a great job covering Fuller all day. Shut Down Brown is the fucking man. Swope was very active early, because Fuller was locked down. His first catch of the day was the touchdown, and he didn't do much after that.
10. Offense started to pick up with 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. The pace really started to get to the Aggies. This is where the seed of victory was planted.
11. Holding A&M to a field goal there at the end of the 2nd quarter was huge. We somehow started shutting down their running game at that point. They tried to pound it in and we weren't having it. 24-3 vs. 20-3 made a big difference in the end. Kudos to the defense.
12. Weeden played a very smart first half. Didn't force anything. If you're sacked, you're sacked. If it's not there, it's not there. He's just how King likes his ladies, old and mature.
13. Gundy's halftime interview will go down as a legendary moment for this season. Cool, calm, confident. Basically, said we're playing ok but we've suffered from bad field position and mistakes so we're gonna go in the locker room and write up a plan to fix the problems - and win the fucking game. Basically.
14. You could see the confidence in our players at the start of the second half. Something was said, and they bought it. All of them. Totally different team from the first snap of the second half. We ran the ball with authority. Cooper delivered consistency with the swing. We pushed the tempo. They knew it was a do or die drive and Jeremy Smith delivered 6.
15. Cramp Cramp Cramp Cramp....Something needs to be done about Texas A&M faking injuries when they're getting whipped.
16. The play of the game, in my opinion, was the 28 yard catch by Josh Stewart. It was followed by a 13 yard touchdown run by Smiff. 2 plays for 41 yards in under a minute.
17. A&M fans will say that Sherman "went away from the run"...Bullshit. They tried to run it in the second half and it was nothin doin. We out toughed them and it showed in the running game. Of course you're gonna "go away" from the running game if you're getting stuffed.
18. The tempo really started getting to the players with 10:00 to go in the second half. Anytime an opposing team's players are visibly bitching at their coaches...You're doing something right.
19. Brodrick Brown is the defensive player of the game and Josh Cooper is the offensive player of the game. Consistent. Consistent. Consistent. He's becoming more and more of a Wes Welker type with every game.
20. The A&M fumble at mid field with 7 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter was the nail in the coffin for the Aggies. A heads up play by Daytawion Lowe to knock the ball out of the hands of the receiver. If that doesn't happen, A&M has a first and 10 at our 40.
21. Pretty sure Ryan Tannehill wears lipstick. Look closely.
22. Blackmon's fumbled TD is unacceptable for sure, but the bottom line is he's a kid who got overly excited and he'll learn from his mistake....Hopefully. That kind of play would have sunk OSU teams of the past. Not this team. They just went back out and intercepted Tannehill again.
23. Mildly concerned with our red zone running game. Haven't really shown the ability to punch it in from inside the 5.
24. Total BS call on the Markelle Martin hit there at the end. Was it a hard hit? Yes. Unnecessary roughness? No. Being known as a hard hitting team will go long way though. Worth the penalty (s) he's received.
25. Never question this team. Gundy is a great coach, and could be one of the best motivators of all time. Word is he went to each group in the locker room and calmly told them what they needed to do to be effective in the second half. He knows what he's doing. I'm sure they'll be down again but they're as experienced as any team in America in coming from behind. No first half lead is insurmountable at this point. Lesson learned.