Jordi is the main contributor and owner for DASH Sports, a Texas-based sports blog that covers the Big 12 and SEC. You can find DASH Sports on Twitter @DASH_Sportz, Facebook, or online @ dashsports.home.blog. This week he watched the film and explains what was good to see during the Aggies’ game against Vanderbilt, what was bad, and what was just flat out UGLY.
Since 2012 Texas A&M’s secondary has been, how do I put this nicely? Abused? Yeah, that is a little bit of an understatement but it gets the point across. Texas A&M has not been able to figure it out on the back end of its defense for the better part of 7 seasons… That was, until this season. Granted the only film we have is against Vanderbilt; however, the corners and safeties covered and tackled at a level that has not been seen at Kyle Field in over a decade. Jaylon Jones, Demani Richardson, Leon O’Neal, Myles Jones and Eric Young were absolutely flying around and blanketing guys on Saturday night. Vanderbilt’s freshman quarterback, Ken Seals, made some gutsy throws on their touchdown drive but for the most part, it was slim pickings in the passing game for the Commodores. Jaylon Jones and Demani Richardson are not household names in the SEC yet, but they will be very soon. Those two will compete for ALL SEC honors as a true freshman and true sophomore, respectively. Like I said earlier, this was against Vanderbilt and these receivers were no Jaylen Waddle but it was GOOD to see actual talent in the secondary for once.
For whatever reason, the Aggie offensive line improved immensely at pass protection but are still relatively BAD at run blocking. Almost every run play was a stalemate at the line of scrimmage, leaving the Vandy linebackers an opportunity to fill gaps without any resistance. Luckily for the Aggies, they have arguably the best 1-2-Punch at running back in the SEC. Spiller and Smith were able to make a lot of plays happen by making a linebacker or defensive back miss or break through the attempted tackle in the box. I won’t try to act like I understand Jimbo’s offense or Henson’s scheme, but I do know you are going to have to do something to slow down Christian Harris and Co. this weekend. If not, I imagine even the “Murder Horner”, Ainias Smith, will have issues getting yards after contact this week.
Texas A&M fumbled the ball like 1,000 times on Saturday. Okay maybe I exaggerated there, but it definitely felt like more than just 3 times. Combine those three fumbles with the 6 drops and the special team blunders, you get a 5-point victory over a bottom-dwelling SEC team. Texas A&M cost itself 10 points, just by fumbling the ball and gifted Vanderbilt another 2 points when a punt was caught IN THE END ZONE, RAN OUT OF THE END ZONE, WHICH ALLOWED A GUY TO BLIND SIDE A GUY AND GET A PENALTY IN THE END ZONE WHICH RESULTED IN A SAFETY!! (Rant over.) Needless to say, it was obvious that the players, for the most part, were not very focused and it showed. A&M’s lack of focus and Vanderbilt’s lack of offense gave us one of the UGLIER games televised this past weekend. For the sake of Aggie fans, let’s hope it was your classic trap game with all the players having Alabama on their minds.