Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Last Look Back at Missouri

Ah, Missouri. At long last the statement win that this Aggie team so desperately needed. I could prattle on about my massive Jorvorskie Lane man-crush or how welcome the return of the vertical passing game is, but this win belongs to one group, the defense.

Four times in the last five games the A&M defense has looked hard at the opposing offense and forced them to give the ball back inside the five yard line. Against Mizzou the word of the day was relentless. Whether it was Jordan Peterson forcing a fumble mere inches from the goal line on a play that the normally stout 12th Man had written off, or the defense swarming to the ball on a key fourth down play in the closing moments of the game, this defense was utterly relentless for the entirety of the paltry 18:30 that the Aggies let the Tigers control the ball. The stats are nearly flawless: 1 for 8 on third downs, 1 for 3 on fourth. 3 forced fumbles and a fearsome running back held to 37 yards. As a team Missouri managed only 2.8 yards per carry and no offensive points in the second half.

Players like the constantly improving Peterson, the dogged Brock Newton and the leader Melvin Bullitt are all coming of age and cementing their place in Aggie lore before our very eyes. Misi Tupe quietly had what was almost certainly his best game this season and Justin Warren and Devin Gregg are the anchors of this defense. Oklahoma State is in a mere three days, but for this one week, it was all about the tenacious defense and for that, I'm proud to be an Aggie.

The Heroes:
-Jorvorskie Lane for another week in which he was the second half offense, racking up 127 yards and another TD. Honorable mention to Mike Goodson who is not only fun to watch, but who scored the game winning TD and to Kerry Franks who seems to have single-handedly revived the vertical passing game.

-The whole defense who played as a team and made the stops when it counted. Special mention to Jordan Peterson, Melvin Bullitt, Devin Gregg, Misi Tupe and Cyril Obiozor.

-Justin Brantly came up big in the punting game again with a 58 yarder and a 48.3 yard average. It doesn't exactly fit here, but I would be remiss if I didn't also bring up Missouri punter Adam Crossett who boomed a 79 yard beauty that was easily the best punt that I've ever witnessed in person. It was a masterpiece, if somewhat painful for the Aggies in attendance.

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