Friday September 15th, 200612:11am
Ag Football Preview: AT&T Corps Classic
Part of me wishes this game was going to be played at West Point because it would be a great away game for our fans but the other part of me is excited that I, along with thousands and thousands of other Ags, will now get to attend the game....and road trip! You probably remember my recent trip to San Antonio and the fact that I love the city of San Antonio so combined with Aggie football it has the makings of an excellent weekend.
If I'm not mistaken, the home team (Army in this case) has the right to move a game to a neutral site. San Antonio is perfect because of all the military bases that are around the city and because A&M will travel very, very well to San Antonio. It will be a day trip for a huge population of Ags. It's almost like a home game for us except that there is a new type of excitement around it as a result of the road trip.
Jennifer is dropping me off somewhere down in Katy on Saturday morning where I'm meeting up with part of my group so we can head out. We want to get there around noon-ish so we can check into our hotel and still have an afternoon of sightseeing before our rather late evening kickoff (8:15pm on ESPN2). One of our gang is from Colorado so this will be his first trip to SA so we'll have some fun with that.
Army is one of the greatest schools in NCAA football. They won back-to-back-to-back National Championships in 1944, 1945, & 1946 and have three Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard in '45, Glenn Davis in '46, and Pete Dawkins in '58). In the 40s and 50s they routinely had 3, 4, 5, and even six All-Americans each season. They went 64-5-5 from 1943 until 1950. Think about how incredible that is. I highly suggest your read more about their storied history from their media guide.
Sadly, Army could not maintain its level of dominance beyond the Earl Blaik's final season in 1958. They have only played in two bowl games in the last 20 years, and none since the 1996 Weed Eater Independence Bowl ten years ago. They are 12-59 since the start of the 2000 season including a 0-13 2003. Head coach Bobby Ross, who won a National Championship at Georgia Tech in 1990 and took the Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX, took over the program after '03 and has slowly started to turn things around.Year Record ============= 2000 1-10 2001 3-8 2002 1-11 2003 0-13 ------------- 2004 2-9 2005 4-7 2006 1-1
In his first two seasons he won more games than they did in the previous four.
As for this weekend's game, I'm expecting similar results to last week. So far in 2006 Army has played at Arkansas State (L 14-6) and hosted Kent State (W 17-14 in OT). Interestingly, they start a 3 game streak of Texas opponents as they play Baylor in Waco next weekend before hosting Rice. They also host TCU towards the end of October. It looks like Coach Ross is doing his darndest to make a splash in the Texas recruiting pool.v. ArkSt v. Kent St Avg/Game ========== ========== ========== PassO.... 95 yds 104 yds 100 yds RushO.... 69 yds 171 yds 120 yds TotO.... 164 yds 275 yds 220 yds ScorO.... 6 pts 18 pts 12 pts PassD.... 97 yds 92 yds 95 yds RushD.... 222 yds 198 yds 121 yds TotD.... 319 yds 290 yds 305 yds ScorD.... 17 pts 14 pts 16 pts
17 players on their roster from the great state of Texas, including starting QB David Pevoto (from Colleyville). Pevoto has started both of the Black Knight's first two games and is 26-for-51 for 199 yards through the air with 0 TDs and 4 INTs. Their leading rushers are Wesley McMahand who has 125 yards on 32 carries and Tony Moore who has 61 yards on 20 carries and both of the Black Knight's season TDs.
Some of you might have noticed that A&M's defense is at the top of most of the national defensive rankings. We're currently 3rd in scoring defense (5.0 ppg), 8th in total defense (207 ypg), and shockingly #1 in passing defense (73 ypg). We were #109 in total defense, #94 in scoring defense, and #117 in pass defense at the end of last year. Clearly, what we've done to this point in 2006 has been against very weak opponents. To think that we are a top 10 defense, or even a top 20 defense, is a little silly at this point. Still though, I don't think that anyone would have said we would be this good through two games. Even going back to last season and looking at our weakest opponents (SMU, Texas State, OkSt) we still gave up a lot of points and a ton of yards, especially though the air.Pass Rush Tot Pts =========================== SMU 309 39 348 8 TxSt 378 115 493 31 OkSt 207 127 334 23
I know that it is unrealistic to think we'll continue at the pace we're on but I think that you can see how big an improvement we've made in a short time.
I also wanted to mention that, my boy, Justin Brantly, has been added to the Ray Gun Award Watch List. Seems somewhat natural considering his 58 yards per punt is the highest punting average in the nation. My only question is why he wasn't on the list going into the season as he was one of the top returning punters in the nation.
Remember that the game is on ESPN2 for those of you at home.....and for those of you who will be joining me in San Antonio, drive safe and have a great time.
B.T.H.O. The Black Knights! WHOOP!
| Where are you?
Tuesday September 12th, 20068:36pm
TAMABINPO's Week 3 Rankings
TAMABINPO's Week 3 Rankings Rk. TEAM (LW; Record) LW Results ============================ ================ 1. Ohio State (1; 2-0) W 24-7 @t.u. 2. Southern Cal (2; 1-0) <----DNP----> 3. Notre Dame (5; 2-0) W 41-17 PSU 4. Auburn (3; 2-0) W 34-0 @MSU 5. LSU (4; 2-0) W 45-3 Ariz 6. West Virginia (6; 2-0) W 52-3 EWash 7. Florida (9; 2-0) W 42-0 UCF 8. Iowa (10; 2-0) W 20-13 @Syr 9. Virginia Tech (11; 2-0) W 35-10 @UNC 10. Georgia (15; 2-0) W 18-0 @SCar 11. Florida State (8; 2-0) W 24-17 Troy 12. texas (7; 1-1) L 24-7 tOSU 13. Miami (Fla) (13; 1-1) W 51-10 FA&M 14. Oklahoma (16; 2-0) W 37-20 Wash 15. Tennessee (12; 2-0) W 31-30 AF 16. Oregon (18; 2-0) W 31-24 @FrSt 17. Nebraska (17; 2-0) W 56-7 NicSt 18. Michigan (19; 2-0) W 41-17 CMich 19. Louisville (20; 2-0) W 62-0 Temple 20. Boston College (24; 1-0) W 34-33 Clem 21. Penn State (14; 1-1) L 41-17 @ND 22. Cal (21; 1-1) W 42-17 Minn 23. TCU (23; 2-0) W 46-13 UC-Dav 24. Arizona State (NR; 2-0) W 52-21 Nev 25. Missouri (NR; 2-0) W 34-7 Miss OUT: 22. Clemson (22; 1-1) L 34-33 @BC 25. UCLA (25; 2-0) W 26-16 Rice
Games I watched: A&M/ULaLa (all), tOSU/texas (4th Q), Cinci/Pitt (all)
Ohio State secured their spot at the top after really giving it to texas (at texas). I thought that Notre Dame impressed more than the two teams I lept with them. We'll find out more about Auburn and LSU when they meet up this weekend. Georgia jumps up a little because I think I had them slightly lower than I should have and beating SC on the road is more impressive than what some of those other schools did against chumps. FSU dropped because they squeaked by Troy at home and the same goes for Tennessee. BC jumps after beating Clemson. Arizona State jumps in with Clemson leaving and UCLA drops out only winning by 10 over Rice. It was Rice.
Some HUGE games this upcoming weekend. Thursday night we get Virgina Tech (6:30, ESPN2) then on Friday we get Kansas at Toledo. That will be the largest coaching matchup of the season....literally.
Then the glorious day Spanish speakers call Sabado. We've got Iowa State at Iowa (11am, ESPN), Michigan at Notre Dame (2:30, NBC), LSU at Auburn (2:30, CBS), Miami at Louisville (2:30, ABC), OU at Oregon (2:30, ABC), texas tech at TCU (4:30, CSTV), Clemson at FSU (6:45, ESPN), Nebraska at USC (7pm, ABC), Florida at Tennessee (7pm, CBS), and of course A&M v. Army (8pm, ESPN2). Enjoy it because weekends like this come once every few years.
| Where are you?
Monday September 11th, 20068:36pm
Welcome To Aggieland
On Saturday night on the new ginormous video screen they unveiled the new Texas A&M commercial that will be played when we're on TV. To be quite honest, I thought it was spectacular. Not only did they do a good job representing what the school is but it was a very professional and fun video.
You can D/L the video on the Association of Former Student's website or just click here.
EDIT: They took down the link to D/L it. Try this link out instead.
| Where are you?
Sunday September 10th, 20068:20pm
Ags Beat ULaLa Like They Should, 51-7
I've got to say that, unlike last week, we played an almost perfect game and the difference in the score showed it.
I headed up to College Station in the early afternoon and met up with my brother. We went to Rudy's for some grub and then headed out to find one of my buddies who was tailgating. Long story short, we couldn't find him so we walked through the Bonfire Memorial and then over to the Bright Building so I could show Sean where John David Crow's Heisman Trophy and Dat's Lombardi Trophy are displayed. Unfortunately, on game day you aren't allowed into the Bright Complex so I had to point through the dark glass. I think he got the idea.
We got into the stadium fairly early and watched warm-ups. I met a nice reader who had somehow recognized me from here. That's always weird (mainly because it catches me off guard) but still really nice at the same time. The rest of our gang showed up closer to kickoff, right about the time the loud, quite vulgar, drunk guy behind us did. He left before halftime to go watch texas and tOSU.
The game was great. We were methodical offensively and great defensively. We put ULaLa away quickly just like you're supposed to do against much weaker opponents.
Stephen McGee started off something like 9-for-10 with the one incompletion a dropped pass. He finished 20-for-27 with 200 yards and one TD pass to Chad Schroeder. He had difficulty with his deep ball, which wasn't something I was thrilled with but it's only week 2. Ty Branyon came into the game for the second possession of the third quarter and played just about the entire remainder of the game (3-for-4 for 71 yards and a TD).
We ran the snot outta the ball, especially in the second half. We ran 29 plays in the second half and only 8 of them were passing plays. The touches were shared mainly by Jorvorskie (12 carries), Michael Goodson (8 carries), C-Lew (5), and McGee (7) as all 4 ran for over 40 yards. Goodson actually led the team with 54 yards but Jorvorskie set a career high with four TD rumbles. J-Train has now run the ball 138 times in his career....only 5 of which have been for negative yardage.
Fran opened up the playbook slightly more than last week, which is something I think we'll see happen bit by bit as we move towards Big 12 play. There was one play where Jorvorskie lined up behind the left tackle and McGee ran a fake option to the right then dropped back and hit a wide open J-Train who just barely got tripped up at the 5 yard line. It was similar to the play against texas last year.
We threw to the TEs a ton as Martellus was our leading pass catcher with 5 and Joey Thomas led the team in yardage with 84 yards, including a spectacular circus catch on a Branyon pass that he took to the house. Chad Schroeder picked up another TD catch which is amazing. In his career he has started in 9 games and he has 9 career TDs (that doesn't include TD passes that he's thrown). The guy just gets into the end zone. Howard Morrow was in the game for a ton of snaps but again didn't get a ball thrown his way, which kinda upsets me.
After the Thomas TD catch Branyon ran one in himself and then Fran brought out the All 12th Man Kickoff Team for the third time in his tenure ('03 BU & '05 SMU). The 3rd quarter came to an end while Branyon was running into the end zone so we were singing the War Hymn and not many people realized what was about to happen. I, however, had a feeling it was coming so I had told Sean before the play that if we scored to grab his camera and get a picture. The squad came out while we were still sawing varsity's horns off but it seemed like the officials let us finish so the PA announcer could let everyone know what was going on. As soon as the War Hymn was over I was screaming "ALLLLLLLLLL TWEEEEELLLLLLFTH MAAAAAAAAAAAN KICKKKK OFFFFFFFFFF!" over and over and I think the people around us caught before it was officially announced.
Instead of taking a picture, Sean recorded the entire kickoff with his camera. Afterwards I was kicking myself for not using my camera because I have sound on mine and Sean doesn't. Anyways, the place went crazy and I think the walk-ons enjoyed themselves. Sorry about the footage being a little bumpy....I was leaping around like a crazy man next to him while he was trying to film it.
While I'm on the topic of special teams I thought I should mention three things that excited me in that regard. First of all, Justin Brantly continues to amaze. He had one punt for 58 yards (no bounces) yesterday and now has 4 punts on the season and is averaging 57 ypp. That doesn't even include his 54 yarder that was taken off the board after the defensive offsides. Second item is Kerry Franks, who had another big kick-off return yesterday. He has 3 on the season for 52, 12, and 39 yards (34.3 ypr) and also has a punt return for 20 yards and a blocked punt. Finally, wide receiver Pierre Brown needs some love as he made FIVE special teams tackles yesterday. That is nuts.
On the defensive side of the ball we were great, holding ULaLa to 17 yards through the air and only 171 yards of total offense. Jerry Babb, the Preseason Sun Belt Offensive POY, was the worst QB I think I've ever seen at Kyle Field. He was 1-for-10 for 10 yards before being replaced by Mic Desormeaux, who was only 1-for-4 for 7 yards but ended up leading the team in rushing yards with 53. Babb couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a beach ball last night.
Justin Warren again led us in tackles with 6 but I was also impressed with Chris Harrington who had two sacks, Devin Gregg who had 5 tackles and a fumble recovery, and Michael Bennett who had three tackles and a forced fumble.
The only reason that ULaLa scored was because of a horrendous flag from the officials. They were running, what seemed to me to be, an option-read offense for a good portion of the game where the QB would either hand off or fake a hand off and run. They ran a hand-off where the QB faked like he still had it and Justin Warren blindsided him, because he thought he still had the ball. The RB fumbled further downfield and we recovered it but a flag was thrown incredibly late on Warren for unnecessary roughness and they got a first down inside our 20. It wasn't a late hit because the QB acted like he had the ball, it wasn't helmet to helmet, it was just a clean shot to his backside. It was a terrible call by the official.
CB Jordan Peterson made his name known to all when he delivered a crushing blow to one of the ULaLa ball carriers. The crowd went crazy. I can assure you that you'll see the clip at some point in the near future.
I suppose that if I had to find something to pick at it would be a missed FG (on another low snap) and McGee struggling to throw the deep ball accurately. Outside of that it was a very well played game.
Next weekend I will be road tripping with some friends to San Antonio to catch the Army game at the Alamo Dome. It's gonna be a lot of fun.
| Where are you?