Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Auburn Realist: The TAMU Review



In case you missed it, here is my TAMU Preview. Go read it.

I have never been so happy to be wrong. I guess my years of being married to such a smart woman have gotten me used to admitting when I am wrong. That aside, this win was one of the most fulfilling wins I have ever known.

But, hold up. I wasn't wrong about much...aside from the one thing that mattered, of course.

So, let's look at what I said would happen.

Defense
TAMU rolled up the yards and hung a bunch of points on Auburn. The Evans/Manziel connection set yet another record against Auburn. Every time that guy touched the ball he found the endzone. But, down the stretch Auburn found a way to "stop them", if you can say that. Although Evan's had one go off his fingers in the endzone there at the very end of the game that could have spoiled the win.

While I knew what it would take to win...the turnover or two and the breakout freshman play, I didn't think it would really happen. But it did. It gets lost in the mix, but the two INTs in the first half may have won the game. What I had feared was TAMU going perfect on all of their drives in the first half. I didn't think Auburn could reciprocate that kind of offense. TAMU was indeed unstoppable except for those two costly picks that may have been the gamebreaker for the Tigers.

It's been talked about, but Ryan White's play was incredible, considering the situation. The kid played a position he had never even practiced at and came away with an INT and several tackles.

What does get mentioned more than anything else was the stellar play of the D-Line, particularly the young guys. They had 4 sacks on Manziel, which...by the last two years standards.....is impossible. Frost showed why he should be on the field in pressure situations as he outran Manziel to the sideline, showing us why he was a hyped up player coming out of high school.

So, I guess you can say that I was pretty close on that....I mean, they didn't consistently stop them. Evan/Manziel torched them. But, they did get the 2 INTs and the game winning sacks.

Offense
As I had said, I expected the Tigers to score in bunches but to have quarters of inconsistency. The 2nd quarter was just as I had feared. The play calling was sketchy. 4 drives, 3 3-and-outs with  punts and a kneel down at the half. The 3rd quarter featured anther 3 and out with zero yards, a LLLOONNGG TD and another 3-and-out for 0 yards. I honestly thought the game was probably over at that point, especially since TAMU turned in a TD in the final seconds of the first half then back it up with a TD and a FG in the 3rd.

But, just as I expected...scoring in bunches...even up to 21 points in a quarter...is possible for this Tiger team. That's exactly what we saw in the 4th quarter. 3 long drives with rushing TDs. What I LOVED about those 3 TDs were that they all came from different players. It just shows the versatility to this offense that will only become more pronounced over the remainder of the season.

I expect the Offensive line, behind Dismukes, to really shine. Indeed they did. It's amazing how the same group last year couldn't block anything and this year they are paving roads for truckers. I sure hope he comes back next year....

The biggest story to me is Mason. I knew that he was a versatile athlete coming into this season, but he has absolutely exploded. What better way than to do so in a major game on the way to a season defining win. I said it first. Mason for Heisman, 2014. If he continues to display his balance, nose of the endzone, speed, and versatility, he may very well be in New York THIS year.


The Line
Ok. I get it. I was wrong on the score. I predicted it would take 45 to win. Indeed it did. Just the wrong team. But, hey, throw tomatoes if you want. I will take the win and be wrong any day.

B+ for me!