Reason #1: The Aggies Watch the Nebraska Game Tape
This one is really pretty easy and we were all probably thinking the same thing after the game: that the Aggies would most certainly try and utilize the same type of offensive attack as Nebraska did. Not necessarily in terms of style, but in terms of execution. Run the ball, throw safe passes, and play keep away from the Texas Tech offense. For the season, the Aggies are a little short of 30 minutes in time of possession, but like last week, anything can happen. Johnson is certainly capable of connecting on 5 and 7 yard passes that will turn into 9 or 10 yard completions, while Goodson, Gray and Lane are also capable of running a possession game as well. Again, this comes down to execution and perhaps the biggest difference between TAMU and Nebraska is experience, especially at those skill positions, where TAMU is starting 3 true freshmen (QB and 2 WR's), while Nebraska started 4 seniors in the offensive backfield (Ganz, Lucky, Peterson and Swift). If the Aggies can grow up quickly, then there's no reason TAMU shouldn't be able to hold onto the ball for extended periods of time.
Reason #2: Jerrod Johnson Scares Me
Zach Robinson is one, Robert Griffin is another, and Jerrod Johnson is right up there in terms of athleticism coupled with the ability to throw the ball and move those chains. Johnson certainly has the ability to run, and he seems to have found his grove over the last 3 games. In Johnson's first game, he had 8 attempts for 10 yards, 11 attempts for -3 yards in his second game, but things got better. Against Army, Johnson only rushed 2 times for 12 yards, but against OSU, Johnson ran for 42 yards on 13 carries and against K-State, he ran for 68 yards on 17 carries. The yards per attempt aren't quite there, but the point is that Johnson is starting to figure it out in the passing game. Last week Johnson threw for 419 yards against Kansas State and threw for 41 times, while he also threw for 218 yards and 43 times against Oklahoma State. Sherman has decided to depend on Johnson more and more as the games continue. So now, after 6 games, Aggie now has itself a more than competent dual-threat running back and if Johnson gets his feet under him, it could be a long night.
Reason #3: Playing To The Defensive Aggie Strengths
This is very much a chicken or the egg argument, but I think it's certainly plausible that the Aggie pass defense is it's most experienced defensive unit and has enough talent to be a thorn in the Texas Tech's proverbial side. Led by senior Alton Dixon at rover, junior Jordan Pugh at one corner, senior Danny Gorrer at the other, while junior Jordan Peterson is at the free safety position. Keep in mind that the Aggies were 6th in the conference last year in passing defense and have improved on that ranking this year. Granted, the Aggie opponents haven't been pass-happy offenses, but the bottom line is that the Texas Aggie defense has thus far shown a propensity stop the passing game and the core group of Aggie defensive backs have seen the spread and should have the experience to make it slow down. .
Reason #4: Goodson Can Break Open Any Game
Whenever I watch Aggie I shake my head and try and figure out why Michael Goodson isn't utilized more. It never makes sense. I can understand the fascination with Lane, but he's not going to break open a game like Goodson can and it never ceased to amaze me that Goodson would get so few carries during a given game, especially when the Aggie offense lacked real playmakers last year. Goodson's touches (receiving and rushing) this year are Ark St. 30; NM 12; Mia. (FL) 16; Army 16; OSU 16; and KSU 12. Seems like there should be at least 1 constant with TAMU, which would be to get Goodson, a true feature back, at least 20 touches every game, probably more. And this may be part of TAMU's problem, is that Johnson being as young as he is, wants to do too much on his own, but Goodson can break an opposing team's back if given enough opportunities.
Reason #5: One Of Two Games Circled On The Schedule
The best for last. I'm not sure that all Aggies will admit that there is a certain amount of rivalry between TAMU and Texas Tech, and that's fine. I don't think there's any point in talking anyone into the idea that a certain game is a rivalry or not, that's fine. But, the truth of the matter is that this game is circled by every Aggie and every Techsan once schedules are released. Aggie wants to beat Texas Tech and Texas Tech wants to beat Aggie. Bottom line. There's no doubt that TAMU will get up for this game. It's at home and the last time the Red Raiders made an appearance at Kyle Field, the result was, well, disappointing for Aggie. The Aggies may not want to admit it, but they've got this game circled and that means that Texas Tech had better be ready to play.
Hat-Tip to the great South Carolina blog, Garnet and Black Attack.