Texas Tech Reaction
I've had 48 hours to mull this game over and it still stings just a bit. I'm proud of the way that the Aggies played, especially in the second half, but a win sure would've been nice. Following the loss, TexAgs.com had a pretty major meltdown with a significant number of posters calling for Coach Fran to be fired. I can't say as I agree as this team is still 4-1.
I won't comment too much on the first half except to say that it was pretty miserable with the offense not able to move the ball at all through the air and defense playing soft. I think that a big part of the defensive struggles can be attributed to getting killed by the crossing routes when the linebackers didn't get back quickly enough in the zone to take it away.
The second half was a completely different story with the rushing attack moving the ball at will and the defense coming up with big stop after big stop (although several Tech drives were derailed by poor throws and shoddy execution). By the midway point of the 4th quarter, Kyle Field was absolutely rocking and things were looking up.
Ironically, both the offense and the defense finally ran out of gas at the worst time imaginable. The offense was held to a field goal on a drive where a touchdown would have almost certainly meant victory and the defense just couldn't get it done on the last drive of the game. The key play came on a 4th and 5 when Jarrett Hicks made a good catch on a perfect throw from Graham Harrell to keep the drive alive. On the came winning catch Jordan Peterson had superb coverage and was beaten by one of the best executed deep bombs I've seen this season. Despite the loss, I was ecstatic with both the adjustments A&M made and its second half intensity. From a football standpoint it was a great game with an exciting ending and one that I was glad to see in person.
Offense - Jorvorskie Lane, Mike Goodson and Courtney Lewis. The run game was superb and is the biggest bright spot going forward from here.
Defense - This one is awfully hard. In the first half I thought that everybody was bad. In the second half pretty much everybody was good. I'll go with Jordan Peterson who seems to get better every game.
Special Teams - Kerry Franks who is very, very fast.
Things To Work On For Next Week:
-The zone defense was pretty bad and the linebackers need to get back in time to take away the crossing route.
-A&M has yet to come out and start a game well. Some 1st Quarter intensity would go a long way, especially considering that A&M's strengths fit well with grabbing a lead and burning time by pounding the football.
-Kansas in general will be a very big game. If A&M can suck it up and get a road win I think that they will be alright down the stretch with a great chance of taking care of business and finishing 8-4 (with an outside shot at swinging an upset and going 9-3). A loss this weekend though would put this team in serious danger of having the kind of tailspin that has plagued A&M in recent years. Either way we should know soon.