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November 17, 2012

Postgame Thoughts: SHSU

A few thoughts from Kyle Field:

Don't think that this game was close. When it matter, Texas A&M utterly obliterated Sam Houston State when the 1s were out there. SHSU held the ball for 42 minutes to 18 for A&M and the Aggies still put up 47 points and 527 yards of offense. This was a complete mismatch where the overwhelming amount of yards and all the points came in garbage time.

The Aggies came out, unquestionably, flat. Sam Houston State decided they'd be aggressive and hit the Aggies whenever they could, including after the whistle. Bearkats LB Darius Taylor did his team no favors with a pair of cheap shots early in the second quarter and that was about it for them. The Aggies woke up and went into attack mode.

Sam Houston State converted their first two third downs and had 66 yards of offense in the first quarter; they had 1 yard in the second quarter and turned the ball over twice. A&M's first team defense utterly dominated the most explosive offensive in the FCS.

After A&M scored twice in 15 seconds -- especially capping off a 71 yard drive that took all of 49 seconds -- SHSU was done. The Bearkats were utterly shellshocked by what the Aggies were able to do on both sides of the ball once they got rolling.

The Johnny Manziel for Heisman bandwagon also keeps rolling along. He is now the NCAA all-time rushing leader for a freshman quarterback. He ended up with exactly 100 yards rushing on 16 attempts and had another Playstation scoring run, along with three touchdown passes and another scoring run. He put up 367 yards of total offense in 15:30 of playing time, including an 80-yard touchdown.

The Aggies only had the ball for a little over 2 minutes in the second half. Wow.

A&M had a total mismatch with Mike Evans on SHSU's corners and used it to their full advantage. Evans had 6 catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns, including a really nice postup pass. That's a play A&M worked on all summer and tried a few times against Alabama with no success. Today, it worked perfectly.

The coaching staff won't say so, but they were pretty ticked off by SHSU's antics. Coming out and going deep with Manziel, then immediately with Showers -- the Aggies had 189 yards in two plays and 25 seconds of offensive possession -- and then Matt Joeckel when they're already up six-plus touchdowns isn't something the Aggies really did in other blowouts. They threw, sure, but not to that extent.

SHSU didn't help themselves playing aggressive man defense on the Aggie receivers. EZ beat his guy off the line and made it pretty easy for Manziel to hit him in stride for the 80-yard TD and LaKendrick Williams whipped his guy off the line on his 89-yard score from Showers -- which, by the way, was a gorgeous throw. If you can't man up and you try, you die. And that's what happened today to the Bearkats, and the annoyed Aggies were glad to take advantage.

Coach Sumlin said Thomas Johnson is with his family and "we'll see what happens from here."

Christine Michael's ejection could hold repercussions. The SEC will review the incident and he could be suspended for his last career home game next week.

A pair of Clear Springs kids, Donnie Baggs and Howard Matthews, both had strong games (well, first halves). Baggs had four tackles, a tackle for loss and his first career interception; Matthews had five tackles in his second consecutive start. That's a positive sign not only for this year, but next year when both guys will be counted on.

Special Teams coach Brian Polian will give his subjects an earful after the Aggies botched two onside kicks that SHSU recovered. Polian's not the type of guy to allow that to slide.

The second team defense will also get an earful from Mark Snyder and defensive line coach Terry Price. Price was livid by the end of the third quarter and was not in a happy mood as he went off the field postgame. Several starters mentioned afterward that the twos need to step up and finish, and they didn't do the job today, giving up all 28 points and the lion's share of the Bearkats' 382 yards.



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