Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Independence Bowl Preview: Texas A&M's 2009 Season Review Part 1

This is the first part in series of articles examining Georgia's Independence Bowl opponent, the Texas A&M Aggies. First I will examine the Aggies 2009 results beginning with their first six games of the season.

Game 1 – Texas A&M 41, New Mexico 6

The Aggies’ offense opened the season firing on all cylinders as they put up 606 yards on the Lobos of New Mexico in a 41-6 victory. Junior QB Jerrod Johnson completed 31 of 41 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson also ran in another score as did running backs Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael. The defense was also stellar, sacking Lobos QB Donovan Porterie 5 times and allowing only 21 yards on the ground. It was the Aggies’ 24th victory in their last 26 home openers.

Game 2 – Texas A&M 38, Utah State 30

After building a 24-10 halftime lead, Texas A&M had to hold on to beat Utah State 38-30. Jerrod Johnson threw for four touchdowns in the game. Three of those touchdowns went to freshman wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu. He also added a rushing score in the game and was the star player on the field. The offense had to put up big numbers, because the defense failed to hold Utah State from marching up and down the field as well. Their quarterback threw for 334 yards and two scores and running back Robert Turbin rushed for 114 yards. After Utah State scored two touchdowns to get within 8 with just minutes remaining, the Aggies were finally able to run out the clock and seal the victory.

Game 3 – Texas A&M 56, UAB 19

The Aggies improved to 3-0 with a blowout victory over UAB. This game was never in doubt, as Texas A&M built a 28-6 halftime lead and continued to pour it on in the second half.
Game 4 – Arkansas 47, Texas A&M 19
The Aggie defense was no match for Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett on his Saturday. After taking an early 10-0 lead on the Hogs, Arkansas rallied off 30 straight points. Mallett threw for 4 touchdowns and Arkansas added 162 yards on the ground. Jerrod Johnson struggled against the SEC defense, attempting 58 passes but completing only 30.

Game 5 – Oklahoma State 36, Texas A&M 31

Despite missing stars Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter, Zac Robinson was able to lead Oklahoma State to victory at College Station. OSU lead 29-22 going into the fourth. Texas A&M got a Randy Bullock 50 yard field goal to cut the lead to 4 with 14:54 left on the clock. But the Aggies D could not stop the Cowboys from chewing up the clock and putting the game out of reach. A 7 minute, 41 second touchdown drive made the score 36 – 25, and despite a touchdown late, the Cowboys held on for the victory.

Game 6 – Kansas State 62, Texas A&M 14

Texas A&M suffered their third straight defeat, this time in a blowout fashion to conference rival Kansas State. The Aggies defense could not stop the Wildcats from scoring, resulting in a 38-0 half time deficit. To make matters worse, Kansas State returner Brandon Banks took the second half opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. All this came after Kansas State had suffered an embarrassing loss to Texas Tech the week before when they gave up 700 yards and 66 points. 6 turnovers and -13 yards rushing killed the Texas A&M offense.

Mid-season assessment: After starting off the year with 3 wins over opponents from non-BCS schools, the Aggies struggled against Arkansas from the SEC and two conference opponents. And while the close loss to a highly rated Oklahoma State team showed the team had fight, the embarrassing loss to a weak Kansas State team was equally as bad. At the mid way point, the Aggies record sat at 3-3. As you will see, the second half of the season went much the same as the first.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of the review of the 2009 season for the Texas A&M Aggies
Friday: I will break out the Aggies team statistically.
Saturday: What Georgia must do to win and my final prediction

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