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Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 17, Miami 9

September 18, 2022
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Looking back on what was learned, loved and loathed from No. 24 Texas A&M’s 17-9 victory over No. 13 Miami on Saturday night:

Learned

Aggies are resilient: The Aggies were a punchline after a 17-14 loss to Appalachian State last week. They bounced back to capture a hard-fought victory in a root canal of a football game. Not only did A&M gain redemption for the upset last week, but they got it in a tense game in which they had to match up in a physical clash. They also had to show mental toughness to thwart Miami's scoring opportunities twice in the fourth quarter.

Run defense is a concern: Overall, the defense was excellent. The Aggies allowed just three field goals to Miami, which had exceeded 30 points in eight of its last nine games dating back to last year. However, Miami averaged 4.9 yards per carry while rushing for 175 yards. Too often linebackers were invisible. Almost one-third of Miami’s 36 rushes (11) gained seven yards or more.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Center Bryce Foster missed the first two weeks with mononucleosis.

Offensive line concerns persist: A&M certainly had some positive moments up front. The return to the starting lineup of center Bryce Foster, who missed the first two games because of illness, undoubtedly helped. Still, the Aggies could not control the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Max Johnson was sacked three times. He was pressured three more. The Aggies rushed for 124 yards at a 3.9-yard average. Devon Achane rushed for 88 yards on 18 carries. Of that, 76 yards came on five plays — runs of 22, 17, 13, 13 and 11.

Loved

Secondary performance: Two contributors in the secondary were suspended. Two more were ejected in the first half for targeting. A&M did not consistently pressure Miami sophomore quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who is heralded as a potential NFL first-round draft choice. Yet, the A&M secondary limited Van Dyke’s effectiveness. He completed just 21-of-41 passes (51.2 percent) for 217 yards and no touchdowns. That’s the first game Van Dyke was held without a touchdown pass when attempting more than one pass. It was his lowest yardage point production when attempting at least 30 passes. It was his lowest completion percentage since becoming the Hurricanes’ starter last year. By the way, cornerback Jaylon Jones was back in the lineup for the first time this season. He had a strong showing with a team-high nine tackles and broke up a pass.

Jumbo package: Applaud Jimbo Fisher for seeing a problem and fixing it. Last week, the Aggies had trouble in short yardage situations. In response, 230-pound fullback Earnest Crownover was paired with 215-pound tailback LJ Johnson Jr. in short yardage. Johnson followed Crownover for a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The same package resulted in a third-down conversion in the second quarter.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Punter Nik Constantinou pinned Miami inside its own 10-yard line three times.

Special teams (mostly): The kicking game was a huge factor in the victory. Kicker Randy Bond converted the first field goal attempt of his career. Punter Nik Constantinou averaged 44.3 yards on six kicks. Three times he pinned Miami inside its own 10-yard line. Devon Achane came close to breaking a kickoff return for a touchdown. He settled for a 36-yard return. Coverage teams were sound. Albert Regis blocked one field goal and came close to getting another. Demani Richardson forced a fumbled punt. Chris Russell recovered to set up A&M’s first touchdown. However, late in the game, Ainias Smith fumbled a punt inside the A&M 10-yard line. Fortunately, he was able to beat converging Miami players to the ball to make the recovery.

Loathed

Drops: Include Smith’s near-disastrous fumbled punt in this category. He got the ball back, but who needs the anxiety? The struggling A&M offense cannot afford to waste opportunities by failing to catch passes. A handful of times A&M receivers failed to catch passes which could’ve resulted in first downs. Admittedly, they were usually well-covered, but tough catches need to be made. Also, Devon Achane dropped a pass in the right flat that should have gone for a 9-yard touchdown on the opening drive. Instead, the Aggies settled for a field goal. Of course, Achane later more than atoned for the mistake

Targeting: The rule sucks. Ejecting a player for playing hard without malicious intent makes no sense. Cornerback Brian George was ejected when assisting on a tackle in the first quarter. Demani Richardson was ejected after breaking up a pass late in the second quarter. Neither play appeared to have malicious intent.

Suspensions: A&M was without freshman receivers Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall and freshman defensive backs Denver Harris and Smoke Bouie. They were all suspended for violating team curfew rules. The Aggies could have used them all. Ejections tested A&M’s depth in the secondary. The Aggies’ receivers struggled to get separation from Miami defensive backs. Stewart’s speed was missed.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 17, Miami 9

9,365 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by 4
cs69ag
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AG
Love OB's write ups and agree with all of his reporting in the above article except re
targeting. Agree re no malicious intent, but lowering your helmet and leading with the helmet
and banging your helmet into the other player's helmet has been called targeting pretty consistently.

BTW....I thought the ACC ref crew did a good job overall in this game.
Ag in ATL
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Loved the jumbo package as well, loath that it wasn't used against App State.
buglerank06
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Not sure why the NCAA allows booth refs to add targeting penalties to the game that weren't called by field officials. Imagine if they applied the same concept to things like pass interference calls or holding etc. In my opinion, booth reviews have been positive to help clean up items like ball spot, catches near the boundary of the field, fumbles vs runner being down. Conversely, allowing additional penalties to be assessed that 7-8 field officials didn't spot themselves adds even more opportunity to slow down the game (momentum matters!), take the crowd out of key moments, and add subjectivity to a game that's not supposed to drone on for 4 hours. You could probably "find" holding on a lot more offensive play calls if you slow it down enough, and the same goes for examining tackles under a microscope.

Obviously the outcome hurt our secondary in this one but man so often I wonder what a defensive guy's supposed to do when an offensive player starts falling to the ground and the DB has committed to the tackle... You can't get low enough to avoid what we're labeling targeting repeatedly. Situationally we've handcuffed defenders and on top of that the booth official throws a flag from the 3rd deck... Yuck!!
JimAggie
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AG
cs69ag said:

Love OB's write ups and agree with all of his reporting in the above article except re
targeting. Agree re no malicious intent, but lowering your helmet and leading with the helmet
and banging your helmet into the other player's helmet has been called targeting pretty consistently.

BTW....I thought the ACC ref crew did a good job overall in this game.
I disagree whole heartedly about the ACC officials. They were very one-sided and did a terrible job. They missed multiple PI calls on our receivers and at least 3 holding calls on Miami. The targeting calls were a joke.
JimAggie
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AG
buglerank06 said:

Not sure why the NCAA allows booth refs to add targeting penalties to the game that weren't called by field officials. Imagine if they applied the same concept to things like pass interference calls or holding etc. In my opinion, booth reviews have been positive to help clean up items like ball spot, catches near the boundary of the field, fumbles vs runner being down. Conversely, allowing additional penalties to be assessed that 7-8 field officials didn't spot themselves adds even more opportunity to slow down the game (momentum matters!), take the crowd out of key moments, and add subjectivity to a game that's not supposed to drone on for 4 hours. You could probably "find" holding on a lot more offensive play calls if you slow it down enough, and the same goes for examining tackles under a microscope.

Obviously the outcome hurt our secondary in this one but man so often I wonder what a defensive guy's supposed to do when an offensive player starts falling to the ground and the DB has committed to the tackle... You can't get low enough to avoid what we're labeling targeting repeatedly. Situationally we've handcuffed defenders and on top of that the booth official throws a flag from the 3rd deck... Yuck!!
THIS RIGHT HERE! If the officials on the field don't see it...it isn't called...like Miami's 'catch' in the 4Q.
4
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AG
Bryce Anderson was a beast and is quickly going to become a fan favorite.

He also just put every other secondary player on notice.

Beast.
Rydyn
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Quote:

Jumbo package: Applaud Jimbo Fisher for seeing a problem and fixing it.
Not sure if this is serious.

3 and 12 when a first down would finish the game is not exactly the best time to roll out the Jumbo Package...
4
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Rydyn said:

Quote:

Jumbo package: Applaud Jimbo Fisher for seeing a problem and fixing it.
Not sure if this is serious.

3 and 12 when a first down would finish the game is not exactly the best time to roll out the Jumbo Package...

He rolled it out on our first touchdown from the 1 yd line
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