Discuss 12
December 28, 2012
10 wins, Heisman Trophy & More: 2012 season in review
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photo: Jason McConnell, Aggieland Illustrated
 
During Friday's edition of TexAgs Radio, Gabe Bock and Olin Buchanan looked back on Texas A&M's 2012 football season. The duo discussed the top-plays of the season, the most important victories and more.

Topic 1: Top three non-Johnny plays

Gabe's list:

1) Mike Evans' catch against Ole Miss.
        - Without it, A&M loses to Ole Miss - and maybe La Tech - and everything is different.
2) Deshazor Everett's interception vs. Alabama.
        - One of the biggest defensive plays in A&M history … helped Ags claim biggest regular season win ever.
3) Dustin Harris' tackle one play earlier vs. Alabama.
        - If Harris doesn't make that play, Everett doesn't get the chance to make the interception.
        - If McCarron beats Harris at the point of attack and runs it in, 'Bama wins and McCarron wins the Heisman.

Olin's list:

1) DeShazor Everett's interception vs. Alabama.
        - If he doesn't make it A&M probably doesn't upset Alabama and Johnny Manziel doesn't win the Heisman.
2) Jonathan Stewart's fourth down tackle vs. Ole Miss.
        - Aggies' incredible comeback would not have been possible without the clutch stop on fourth-and-one.
3) Toney Hurd Jr.'s interception vs. Ole Miss.
        - Some seem to forget that Ole Miss was driving until Hurd's interception at the A&M 22 with just over a minute left clinched A&M's win.

Topic 2: Three most electrifying / jaw-dropping moments by Johnny Manziel

Gabe's list:

1) Fumble pass to Swope for TD early in 'Bama game.
        - A) It's just an amazing effort to haul in the football, find running room and then find the open man in the end zone.
        - B) It made the score 14-0 … even more jaw-dropping than the play itself.
2) 72-yard TD run vs. La Tech on 3rd and 24 late in the game.
        - Penalties kept pushing A&M back but it didn't matter … Johnny is just THAT good.
3) Loop-de-loop TD run vs. Arkansas.
        - Man's game … Johnny showed just how amazing he can be in the open field.
        - That play officially got Johnny on Olin's Heisman Watch top five list for the first time.
        - Likely the very first public mention of Johnny on a Heisman list by an actual Heisman voter.

Olin's list:

1) Fumble and throw vs. Alabama.
        - Outstanding effort to keep the play alive led to a touchdown that showed an A&M upset was indeed possible.
2) 72-yard TD run vs. La Tech
        - Facing third-and-24 Manziel rips off a game-winning run in the final minutes.
3) Jump pass vs. SMU
        - Manziel broke out of a near-sack and with pursuit converging managed to find a receiver and made a jump pass for a TD. That play showed the Manziel was indeed a special player.

Topic 3: Top three positive turning point moments

Gabe's list:

1) Mike Evans' catch vs. Ole Miss

        - Again … everything is different if he doesn't make that catch.
2) Steven Terrell's forced fumble and Dustin Harris' fumble recovery on T.J. Yeldon in the 4th quarter vs. Alabama
        - Set up two-play drive - pass to Swope and TD pass to Kennedy - to put A&M on top by 12 points, 29-17.
3) Ben Malena pummeling Josh Evans in second quarter of Florida game … knocking him out of game with shoulder injury
        - Underrated moment in A&M's season but that one play signified toughness that this team would show all year.
        - Proved to everyone that the Aggies belonged in the SEC.

Olin's list:

1) Mike Evans' catch vs. Ole Miss
        - Sideline grab sparked an incredible comeback.

2) Steven Terrell's forced fumble vs. Alabama
        - After a 50-yard completion, Alabama appeared on the verge of taking the lead. But Terrell forced T.J. Yeldon to fumble and Dustin Harris' recovery led to a decisive A&M touchdown.

3) Johnny Manziel's 80-yard pass to Ryan Swope just before halftime vs. Arkansas
        - That game was still in doubt until Manziel and Swope hooked up for a TD that staked A&M to a 27-10 lead and turned the game into a rout.

Topic 4: Top three turning point moments that kept A&M out of national title picture

Gabe's list:

1) Malena's fumble late in second quarter vs. LSU.
        - Led to TD pass to Kadron Boone in closing seconds of the half and gave LSU a gimme TD … and new life.
2) Decision to ice Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis late in the second quarter.
        - Missed a 51-yarder but Sumlin called timeout just before the snap … nailed it the second time.
3) Not coming away with points after Trey Williams' kick return down to the LSU 16.
        - 17-12 LSU at the time … A&M could not capitalize and Bertolet missed a chip shot field goal.

Olin's list:

1) Penalty nullifies a TD vs. LSU
        - A&M could have taken a 14-0 lead and kept the momentum going. LSU might not have been able to slow them down

2) Malena fumble vs. LSU
        - That fumble late in the second quarter led to an LSU TD that enabled the Tigers to take a halftime lead even though A&M dominated the first haf.

3) Giving Florida kicker a second chance
        - The decision to try to "ice" Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis backfired when he missed the first try and made it on a second chance late in the second quarter. The Aggies also lost a key timeout they needed on their ensuing possession.

Topic 5: Three best players

Gabe's list:

1) Johnny Manziel
        - Come on … dude won the Heisman Trophy.
2) Luke Joeckel
        - Outland Trophy winner … led the way in protecting Johnny and blocking in running game.
3) Damontre Moore
        - Dominant force at DE and became one of three or four best pass rushers in the nation (all in the SEC).

Olin's list:

1) Johnny Manziel
       - Heisman...gave it to him.
2) Damontre Moore
       - Had an All-American performance and set the pace for a better than expected A&M defense.
3) Luke Joeckel
       - A dominant tackle protected Manziel's blind side and won the Outland Trophy.

Topic 6: Three most important wins

Gabe's list:

1) Alabama
        - Hands down.
2) Ole Miss
        - Lose that game … may lose three in a row and who knows what happens from there.
3) Mississippi State
        - Beat a Top 15 team on the road so soundly … gave the Ags momentum heading to T-Town the following week.

Olin's list:

1) Alabama
        - Established A&M as a top 10 team and vaulted Manziel to the Heisman.
2) Ole Miss
        - Come-from-behind victory exorcized the demons of 2011 second half collapses.
3) Mississippi State
        - Dominant win over a Top 15 team on the road showed A&M could defeat strong opponents.

Bonus Topic: Three most underrated players (three unsung heroes)

Gabe's list:

1) Patrick Lewis
        - Rock at center … offensive rhythm and tempo goes as he goes.
2) Howard Matthews
        - From outhouse to penthouse with this coaching staff … made huge plays down the stretch in big games.
3) Ben Malena
        - On a team filled with star players and great story lines … Malena gets overlooked.
        - Had tremendous season and has "winnability" about him that every team needs.
        - Will do anything on a football field to help his team win games.

Olin's list:

1) Patrick Lewis
       - Set the pace for A&M's offensive tempo
2) Jonathan Stewart
       - Had the best season of his career.
3) Steve Terrell
       - Overlooked, but played very well.
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