Sunday, September 30, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Texas A&M 58, Arkansas 10
By Sam Khan Jr.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M is now 3-1 on the year after crushing Arkansas 58-10 on Saturday before 86,442 at Kyle Field. The Aggies begin a stretch of five road games in their next six weeks, but before we look ahead, let's revisit the highs and lows of the win:
1. Johnny Manziel: It almost seems cliche to throw his name out there when talking about why Texas A&M was successful, but the redshirt freshman quarterback continues to shine and show progress. He has certainly taken steps forward since the Aggies' opener against Florida and on Saturday he broke school records for passing yards (453) and total offense (557). Again, no turnovers for Manziel (and still zero this year for him).
2. Offensive line: The Aggies offensive line was touted as one of the best in the country coming into the season and on Saturday, they showed why. Zero sacks allowed on 47 pass attempts by the three quarterbacks that played: Manziel, Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel. Also, the Aggies ran the ball with their running backs better than they have all season. The trio of backs -- Ben Malena, Christine Michael and Trey Williams -- combined for 116 yards on 17 carries.
3. Turnovers: The Aggies defense collected three turnovers -- two of which were interceptions by Steven Terrell -- to power their performance. All of the turnovers were of the game-changing variety, coming at key points in the game and all translating into points. The Aggies netted 17 points as a result of the turnovers and even better, they didn't commit any of their own.
1. Yardage allowed: The Aggies defense kept the Razorbacks out of the end zone, allowing just 10 points (and none in the final three quarters) but Arkansas moved the ball plenty. The Razorbacks garnered 515 yards and not all of them came in mop-up time. Actually, Arkansas picked up 276 of their yards in the first half.
2. Field goals: Redshirt freshman kicker Taylor Bertolet missed two field goals, one from 39 yards and one from 36. He made 3-of-5 attempts, including a 46-yarder, but the coaches want consistency in that department and so far, Bertolet hasn't delivered that. He's 4-of-7 for the season, which raises the question if walk-on Davis Plowman -- whom Bertolet won competition for the job against in fall camp -- will begin to get a look from special teams coordinator Brian Polian and head coach Kevin Sumlin.
3. Return game: A week after a career performance, senior Dustin Harris was quiet in the return game, netting -7 yards on two returns. Trey Williams only had the opportunity to return one kickoff, and did so for 27 yards.