Monday, September 23, 2013

Impressions - Game Three

After a week hiatus (thank you to Ben for handling the post-Bama analysis), we are back for some SMU impressions.  But before we do, a quick note on the post-Bama cool down.  Is it just me or does it feel like the nation is talking (or praising) us more so than Bama?  Johnny did Johnny things (in record proportions) proving that good ole St. Nick is not invincible when given time to prepare (HE IS HUMAN!).  It’s almost as if our horrid defense gave us a free pass in the perception department.   Everybody expects greatness on both sides of the ball from Bama, while the masses only expect greatness on the offensive side from Texas A&M.  And they fulfilled the greatness quota, shredding Bama in scintillating fashion.  Whatever the case, I feel like A&M did themselves a solid.  That’s all I can say.  There are no moral victories (that’s loser talk).  But we yet again showed that we are in the elite.  Now back to SMU.

One thing that impressed me:  Kevin Sumlin finally benched Bertolet.  I FEEL REDEEMED!  Before I continue the Bertolet bash fest, I would like to say that his onside kick was pretty awesome.  Thank goodness he finally ran out of free passes.  Missing two extra points in a row is atrocious.  Then Lambo (and the bad snap) misses a third in a row.  Is that a record?  Has a collegiate team ever missed three consecutive extra points?  Are we close to a no kicking philosophy?  Why not go for two every time?  What do we have to lose?  I am pretty sure Johnny could score 9 out of 10 two point conversions by just dropping back, looking for one option, then tucking it and scrambling in.  I mean he is sorta kinda the best ever at doing such things.  If our kicking game costs us a game, I am going to go sulk in traffic.

Another thing that impressed me:  Our aggressive defense.  We blitzed a ton and it worked out pretty well (except for the times when our defenders seemed to bounce off of Mr. Gilbert).  SMU isn’t Alabama or Ole Miss, but you could fairly classify them as a slightly above average offense.  And our defense came out and performed like a semi-respectable defense holding them to a measly two field goals in the first half.  True freshman Darian Claiborne got the start at linebacker, Clay Honeycutt was politely shown the bench, and things just seemed to click.  Let’s hope this trend continues.

And another thing that impressed me:  Johnny Manziel.  Of course he impresses every stinkin’ weekend, but this past Saturday I was particularly impressed with his throwing accuracy.  My compliments are solely based on what I saw with my own eyes, but I just felt like Johnny’s balls (tehehe) were next level.  His completions were crisp and intentional, as opposed to just throwing up jump balls to Mike Evans (which, don’t get me wrong, is still a rather awesome plan).  His one interception went right through his receiver’s hands.  And on that note, why don’t we differentiate a quarterback’s interceptions?  Instead of saying “Oh, Player X has four interceptions thus far”, why don’t we elaborate and say “Player X has one interception that was totally his fault (i.e. made a crappy throw), another in which the receiver may or may not have tanked it (I am looking at you JaQuay), and two more that bounced right off the receiver’s hands (thus releasing the quarterback of fault)”.  Would that be unnecessary information?  I certainly don’t think so.  Getting back on track, Johnny's arm has improved.  And Johnny is gonna play on Sundays, mark my words.

One thing that didn’t impress me:  Bertolet.  Does he still have a scholarship?  If so, can someone please tell him to transfer?  Use force if needed.  May this be the last week I ever speak his name.  By the way, do you think Bertolet has any friends on the team?  I envision him being "that" annoying guy.  Do you think Clay Honeycutt even likes him? Yea, probably not.

Another thing that didn’t impress me:  Kenny Hill.  It kills me to say it, it really does.  I was furious when they put in Joeckel.  I view him as a waste of valuable Kenny learning time.  Fortunately, the game was out of hand early and Kenny got some a whole quarter’s worth of snaps.  Let’s just say he didn’t look as spiffy as last time.  He is a true freshman, and one game doesn’t affect my long term prognosis of him, but his lackluster performance does make me weary if, God forbid, anything were to happen to Johnny. 

Statistical observation that impressed me:  Honestly, I’m not seeing much.  Ben Malena quietly got himself 70+ yards and two touchdowns, but that’s just what Ben Malena does.  He produces, simple as that.

Another statistical observation that impressed me:  Again we are stretching, but our defense held SMU to less than 100 yards rushing.  Wait, SMU couldn’t care less about rushing, and they still threw for 300+ yards… damn.

Statistical observation that did not impress me:  13 penalties for 114 yards.  Now we have something relevant.  Let’s be fair, SMU had 16 penalties for 111 yards, so it was actually quite even.  Can we just blame the refs?  Were all of those penalties needed?  Oh, they were, you say?  Fine, well dadgummit, Aggies, you can’t get 13 penalties against a respectable team - that is going to cost you.

It didn’t feel like a particularly pretty win, but hey, a win is a win, and our defense showed considerable signs of improvement.  That’s more than enough for me on a week in which SMU visits.  The Aggies finally leave home next weekend to visit the Piggie’s up north.  I will be at a wedding during the game.  Thanks best friend from high school.  Not.

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