Sunday, September 22, 2013
What we learned: Week 4
By Sam Khan Jr.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M rolled to a 42-13 win against SMU on Saturday at Kyle Field to improve to 3-1 on the season. Here's what we learned:
The A&M defense can make plays: The Aggies made a few lineup changes, most noticeably shifting cornerback Deshazor Everett to safety and starting true freshman Darian Claiborne at middle linebacker, and the moves appeared to pay dividends. Texas A&M allowed 434 yards but 142 of those came in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach. They held SMU to 5-of-16 on third down conversions, reminiscent of their success in that area last season. SMU didn't score a touchdown when the game was still in doubt, and though you can quibble about the quality of A&M's opponent, the Aggies hadn't stopped anybody -- even an FCS foe -- before Saturday. So the D was a positive.
Malcome Kennedy continues to emerge: After catching three touchdowns last week, Kennedy led the team in receiving on Saturday with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans is the go-to guy, but Kennedy is beginning to prove that he is a capable complement, something the Aggies' coaches hoped for and expected given his offseason progress.
The kicking game is still an issue: Sophomore Taylor Bertolet missed consecutive point-after-touchdown kick attempts on Saturday, and that prompted his removal from PAT and field-goal duty for the rest of the game. Junior kicker Josh Lambo took over those duties and connected on a 40-yard field goal and was 1-for-2 on PATs, with his only miss being the result of a bobbled ball by holder Drew Kaser. Whether Lambo is the answer remains to be seen, but the Aggies have to improve in that area because leaving points on the field is cause for trouble in SEC play. Sumlin called the situation "a competition."