Photo by Jason McConnell, Aggieland Illustrated
Texas A&M Football

10 wins, Heisman Trophy & More: 2012 season in review

December 28, 2012

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.
Discussion from...

Aggie football 2012 in review (play along)

Gabe Bock
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Feel free to hit on each of these topics and post your top plays/players/moments in each category.
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Spencer Nealy for under the radar. He straight up dominated barrett jones and played solid all season which we desperately needed considering our depth at dline
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3 Most Underrated players:
1. Kirby Ennis - anchor on D-line, consistent, tough, injury free
2. Patrick Lewis - anchored hurry-up, consistent, tough, injury free
3. Ben Malena - workhorse at rb, pass blocking, special teams

[This message has been edited by redjalapeno-87 (edited 12/28/2012 10:13p).]
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Have to give a shout to Sean Porter as well as Stew for the play against Ol Miss. They tag-teamed with Sean taking out all blocking in a very unselfish play to protect Stew and let him make the stop.

The D needs a shout out for shutting down Au from the getgo and holding them to no positive yardage until 2 TDs had been scored.
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3 Best new impact players


3 most unheraled


3 best tough - playing with heart


Player that showed the most improvement from last year-

J Stewart
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Neely is never given enough credit
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I liked Mike Evan's response to the Cotton Bowl Media Day question "Have you thought about where this team would be if you didn't make that catch against Ole Miss?"

"I made the catch so, no, not really."

Nice review.
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Don't forget Terrell's blocked extra point return against La Tech. That 2 points was the margin of victory.
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I liked Mike Evan's response to the Cotton Bowl Media Day question "Have you thought about where this team would be if you didn't make that catch against Ole Miss?"

"I made the catch so, no, not really."

Nice review.

Love that attitude. Sounds so confident.
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