Sunday, September 4, 2011
Halftime analysis: Texas A&M 33, SMU 14
By David Ubben
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Time to look back on a high-scoring first half...
Turning point: After throwing interceptions on his first two drives, SMU benched Kyle Padron, who threw for over 3,800 yards last season, in favor of senior J.J. McDermott. The Mustangs inched closer with a pair of touchdown drives after Padron's benching, but A&M's offense looks unstoppable and very balanced so far.
Stat of the half: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 11 of 13 passes for 141 yards. Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael have combined for four touchdowns and 95 yards on 19 carries. A&M's offense is rolling and as advertised in its opener.
Best player in the half: Texas A&M's defensive line. It's struggled to defend the run (SMU's Zach Line has 108 yards and a score on 15 carries), but the Aggies are getting lots of pressure up front and already have four sacks, equaling their top total in any game in 2010. Tony Jerod-Eddie already has two sacks.
Second guessing: Down 14-7 late in the first quarter, SMU elected to try an onside kick, but the short kick failed miserably, hitting the kicker's foot twice and going only a couple yards. For the third consecutive drive to begin the game, Texas A&M began with the ball in SMU territory.
What Texas A&M needs to do: Relax, and feed the Mustangs a steady diet of Gray and Michael. Turnovers are the only way the Aggies lose at this point, so hold on to the ball. The offensive line has been very good so far for the Aggies, and they'll need to impose their will (Just like Texas!) in the second half.