Pregame thoughts and a Bonus Roundtable Question
I'm watching Michigan struggle early with Wisconsin up 7-0, and as much as that makes me ornery I thought I would take a second to put down on paper what I'm looking for from the Aggies this afternoon and answer the bonus BlogPoll Roundtable question posed by SMQ this week.
Obviously I wasn't happy with the difficulty that A&M had last week against Army, but a win is a win. When I head over to Kyle Field tonight I'll be watching for the following:
-Improved tackling. Last week the Army backs consistently found extra yardage by breaking arm tackles and cutting back on overpursuing defenders.
-Fewer critical mistakes. The fumbled punt return and a slew of penalties come to mind here. Every time A&M was in a position to salt the game away, they found a way to let Army right back into things. Playing smart, heads up football will take care of this.
-More passing. 11 passing plays? Really? C'mon Aggies, throw the ball a bit more this week.
-Smarter play calling. Late in the game the play calls were being telegraphed by the formations. A little unpredictability goes a long way.
And the bonus roundtable question, courtesy SMQ:
What gridiron memory sears you so deeply, down to your appropriately-colored veins, that a simple acknowledgement, a "sorry" from the proper source - even if it didn't change the outcome - would lift a burden and cleanse a scarred corner of the soul? What injustice do you still carry, and want officially recognized?
This question came out of the debacle that was Oklahoma-Oregon 2006, so I'll stick with unacknowledged officiating mistakes for my answer. I still lose sleep over last year's Alamo Bowl. The job the officials did was simply terrible and still afterwards the Sun Belt stuck up for the job their guys did. A simple apology for taking a game that should have been fun to watch and turning it into a excruciating comedy of errors would be enough to placate my wounded soul.
(As an aside I think that I should point out that I don't blame the officials for the loss Michigan took, I blame Jim Herrmann and Tyler Ecker for that. The officiating was terrible both ways, sucking all the enjoyment out of the game in the process.)