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Sunday, September 9, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Florida 20, Texas A&M 17

By Sam Khan Jr.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- With Texas A&M's Southeastern Conference debut in the books, let's take a look at some of the good and the bad from the Aggies' 20-17 season-opening loss to Florida on Saturday:

THREE UP:
1. Damontre Moore does some damage: The junior defensive end wreaked plenty of havoc on Saturday, tallying 10 tackles and three sacks. After 8.5 sacks last year, it looks like Moore's ready to take another step forward and at this pace, could be a premier defensive end in the SEC.

2. Turnovers: The Aggies took care of the football on Saturday, committing zero turnovers. They fumbled it once (Ben Malena) but it went out of bounds.

3. Johnny Football’s debut: Johnny Manziel wasn't perfect and he has progress to make, but he was efficient (23-of-30, 173 yards) and was productive with his legs (17 carries, 60 yards, one touchdown). He made smart decisions, didn't play recklessly and moved his team down the field in the first half, though he struggled -- much like the rest of the offense -- in the second half.

THREE DOWN:
1. Running game: The Aggies found room to run in the first half (101 yards) but found virtually none in the second, gaining just 33 yards. The lack of success on the ground contributed to the Aggies' sputtering offense in the second half, which had four three-and-outs, gained just 65 yards and had only three first downs.

2. Penalties: This was one of the first things that head coach Kevin Sumlin pointed out in his postgame comments. The Aggies hurt themselves in this area, committing nine penalties for 78 yards. One was a personal foul on Kenric McNeal that essentially negated Texas A&M's only first down of the third quarter (three plays later, the Aggies punted).

3. Big passes: The Aggies weren't able to get the ball downfield in the passing game much at all on Saturday. They had only three pass plays of more than 20 yards. Sumlin said some of that can be attributed to Florida playing two deep safeties early in the game and some can be attributed to Manziel's youth and making progressions on pass plays.