Saturday, October 29, 2011
Halftime: Confidence boost for A&M DBs
By David Ubben
Three different quarterbacks have set school records for passing yards against Texas A&M this year.
The Aggies have given up 15 more yards per game through the air than any defense in the country.
The defense can use all the building blocks it can get, and the Aggies got one at the end of the first half, where it leads, 28-17.
The Aggies scored 21 consecutive points to take a 14-point lead, but nothing can make that evaporate faster than giving up a touchdown at the end of the half, and then having Missouri open the second half with the ball, which the Tigers do.
A pair of Marcus Lucas catches for a combined 34 yards got Mizzou into the red zone and threatening to climb back into a game it had lost control of in the second quarter.
The defense forced two incompletions and a holding penalty negated a touchdown pass, forcing the Tigers into a 3rd-and-20, which it didn't convert.
That's an encouraging sign to build on in the second half for the Aggies. Two weeks ago, they played some of their best defense of the year in the second half against the league's top passer, Robert Griffin III, grabbing his second interception of the season and getting a turnover on downs inside the 10-yard line to turn the game heavily in their favor.
This has to feel similar.
James Franklin is a more powerful runner, but they've got to feel good about making the stop heading into the half. The Aggies players said in the win over Baylor that the fourth-down stop turned the game's momentum.
That's especially encouraging without the team's top corner, Coryell Judie, who is out with a recurring hamstring injury.
Could we see something similar in this game? I'm betting yes.