Immediate A&M/Army Postgame Reaction
Today started out well enough, with my alma mater, Michigan, taking Notre Dame behind the woodshed and beating them soundly. After an overall great day of football, I settled in to watch the Aggies take on Army, honestly hoping that things wouldn't get too out of hand. I can't believe how wrong I was. After ULaLa last week I was pretty enthusiastic about this Aggie team, but I'm pretty worried tonight. I honestly don't have anything against Coach Fran, if anything I kind of like him, but his postgame comments really made me scratch my head. An almost loss is exactly what this team needed? And it worries me that he is second guessing himself about going for it on 4th down late. Going for it was the correct decision, but we ran out of a formation that we had used several times, each time for the EXACT SAME PLAY. A McGee QB sneak on that play almost certainly gets the job done and the game is pretty much over. The Lane smash was a bad idea because Army knew it was coming.
Some other thoughts I had while trying to sit through this near debacle:
-The Aggies looked sloppy early and often in this one. More on this later.
-Mike Goodson was pretty good on the option early, but that seemed to be the only play A&M ran him on. Way to predictable. Also the problems getting the pitch from McGee to Goodson really limited his effectiveness.
-A&M played stupid today. They took way to many 15 yard penalties, especially in situations where it extended an Army drive. The roughing the punter stands out, as does the offside on Bryant/Heard.
-The convenient explanation for this debacle is that Army played their hearts out and kept things close. While Army did bring a superior effort, they played a very flawed game as well. The two bad interceptions stick out in my mind, as do a couple of bad penalties and the flea-flicker to Schroeder. This was not a well executed game by either team. Army played harder and didn't give up and this kept them in the game, but with even a mediocre effort, A&M should've buried them.
-The Aggies were horrible at defending third and long situations. Almost every time Army found itself in third and long, they went to the slant and A&M never reliably defended it. Here's hoping that the coaches see this too and work on it.
-Justin Brantly was terrible early, but later was killing the ball. I think that it is going to be feast or famine with him.
-By the end of the game, A&M's defense looked exhausted. They came up big on the two goalline plays, but overall the conditioning worries me.
-McGee was darn good running the ball today, but I'm pretty confused about the lack of a passing game. It seemed to be there when the Aggies went to it, but they hardly ever threw the ball in this one. Martellus Bennett was virtually invisible. If A&M can't throw the ball vertically to keep defenses honest, it is going to be a very long season.
That is all I have for now. I taped the game and I might watch it again this week, depending on how masochistic I feel. Here's hoping that the Aggies make significant improvement this week and beat the hell outta La Tech in a week.