Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wrapping Up Last Week and Looking Forward to Another

Before I move on to the Texas Tech game, I wanted to point out two last things that came out of the La Tech game.

First, a critique of a La Tech coaching decision. With less than a minute remaining in the first half and Texas A&M leading 14-7, La Tech executing a great pooch punt putting the Aggies on the 2 yard line. La Tech had two timeouts remaining, but for whatever reason chose not to use them. A&M was able to run a QB sneak and took the lead to the half. Keep in mind that the field had just taken a heavy downpour barely an hour before. Had La Tech chosen to use the timeouts to make A&M run two more plays, the ball would've been damp and the footing loose. It just didn't fell like the Bulldogs were playing for the win and that surprised me. Given this I'm not quite sure where all the whining about the officiating comes from.

Later in the game the Aggie defense made a goalline stand and on the fourth play La Tech fumbled the ball, proving the value of extending the game and giving the opposition more chances to make a mistake on a sloppy field.

Second, Texas A&M has given up 59 first downs this season but 10 of them have been a result of penalties. This is way to many to find success against serious competition. Hopefully Coach Fran has worked some this week on not making the kind of mental mistakes that A&M can't afford. The last thing Texas Tech needs is more opportunities to burn the Aggies deep.

Speaking of Texas Tech, what I'll be looking for from the stands this week as A&M has its first real test of the season:

-Much has been made of Tech's potent passing attack, but A&M hopes to stop it, they will have to get more pressure on the quarterback than they have to date. If Graham Harrell is consistently rushing his passes, good things are in store for the Aggies.

-I've actually been fairly happy with the depth that Peterson, Gorrer, Carpenter and Arkeith Brown bring to the A&M secondary. It will be interested to see how they look against Tech. If these guys prove early that they can stay with Filani and Hicks, I'll be a happy Aggie in the stands.

-Last week I complained about the offensive playcalling and, lo and behold, everything I'd dreamt of came to be (and then some). This week I'll be looking for more of the same. I'd also like to see Goodson on the field for runs that aren't options once in a while and greater use of Martellus Bennett and L'Tydrick Riley in the passing game.

-At times, motivation and focus have been problems for the Aggies (see Army, the Citadel and the first quarter of the La Tech game). Of course if this team can't get up for the Big XII opener against an intrastate rival, there isn't much hope for the rest of the season. We should all know a lot more in a mere 48 hours.

Gig 'Em.


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