Sunday, September 8, 2013
What we learned: Week 2
By Sam Khan Jr.
With Texas A&M sitting at 2-0 after a win over Sam Houston State on Saturday and Alabama looming, here are three things we learned about the Aggies:
The defense still needs work: The Aggies have allowed two teams to rush for at least 200 yards in consecutive weeks. Sam Houston State compiled 240 on the ground a week after Rice went for 306. With Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon and Co. coming to Kyle Field next week, that doesn't bode well. Here's one thing that could work in the Aggies' favor, though: Rice ran some read-option and Sam Houston State used a lot of option football as well. Alabama won't be using any of that; the Crimson Tide will try to run right at the Aggies, so schematically, it might not be as tough a task. But the caliber of opponent goes way up, so there's no doubt it's a tall task. The Aggies need all the bodies they can get, so they'll be happy to welcome back linebacker Steven Jenkins, defensive end Gavin Stansbury and cornerback De'Vante Harris, who all served two-game suspensions.
The offense is still explosive: Texas A&M rolled up 714 offensive yards on Saturday. Not only did quarterback Johnny Manziel impress, so did true freshman Kenny Hill, who came in and completed two big passes right away after entering the game (the second was a touchdown pass). The running game was solid for a second straight week, receiver Mike Evans continues to get better and the Aggies have plenty of weapons, as 11 different players caught a pass on Saturday.
Johnny's still Johnny: Manziel looked impressive in his first start of 2013. Since entering the game in the second half against Rice, Manziel has thrown for six touchdowns and completed 69 percent of his passes. His signature elusiveness was on display, and he showed a desire to stay in the pocket and made nice throws when he did.