When A&M entered the SEC it was understood that they would not be able to hang with the likes of LSU and Alabama in the SEC West. While they were several mistakes away from a victory against LSU, they get another chance to show they belong with these elite teams this week. "Letís just say itís a Tuesday and we usually hate Tuesday practices, but Iím pretty amped up right now," defensive lineman Spencer Nealy said. "I donít like taking on those double-teams as much on Tuesdays, but today weíve got to get after it. So, Iím jacked." "Iíve been on both sides. Iíve been on No. 1 and Iíve played No. 1 a few times," defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said. "Everybody is amped and geared toward you when you are No. 1, and when youíre going against No. 1, thereís a certain buzz in the air, a certain excitement. For us coaches, thereís a reason theyíre No. 1 Ė because theyíre pretty good."
The offense as a whole has evolved and Sumlin is pleased with that. "We are certainly a different team than we were week one. Ten weeks later we better be, especially with a young quarterback. We certainly have more offense at our disposal now than we had against Florida. It's just growth, number one. Number two, it is the comfort level and Johnny being able to handle it. Just because you put up a play, you better have some answers for it. Defenses in this league are pretty complex. It's not necessarily what you think you can handle as a coach but what your players can handle. In year one, ten weeks in, I think we've progressed pretty well."
The biggest thing I've taken away from this season's team is how little a lack of experience on both sides of the football has an impact on the way they play. LSU revealed some youth in fumbles from freshmen Cyrus Jones and T.J. Yeldon, but on the whole, the rookies are playing like anything but. That's the positive. The negative takeaway comes largely from what happened in Baton Rouge. You can't overlook the poor execution on both sides of the football. It was the defense's first game going up against a physical offense, and it did not go well. Zach Mettenberger was made out to be a pro prospect and the Tigers' receivers much the same. AJ McCarron's game-winning drive did a lot to quell concerns over the offense, but it's hard to forget the litany of three-and-outs.
Blake Sims, Alabamaís most athletic quarterback, will do his best to mimic Manziel on Alabamaís scout team this week in practice, as he often does when UA is preparing for a mobile quarterback. "Blake provides us with a good look when we played Michigan and Denard (Robinson) was at quarterback. Everyone always asks you whatís the difference between Denard and this guy named Johnny," said linebacker Adrian Hubbard. "Our scout team, they always give you a good look every week. So I give a lot of credit to them."
Gene Stallings, the Hall of Fame former Alabama and Texas A&M coach, was saddened this morning to learn of former Texas coach Darrell Royalís death. The two coached against each other in the former Southwest Conference. "The football world has lost a giant," Stallings said from his East Texas ranch. "When I was coaching in the old Southwest Conference, I canít tell you the great respect I had for him. "He was not only an outstanding football coach, he was a gentleman."
48 And it came to pass, when the Sabantine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet Sumlin, that Sumlin hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Sabantine. 49 And Sumlin put his hand in his bag, and took thence a quarterback, and slang it, and smote the Sabantine in his forehead, that the quarterback sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the turf. 50 So Sumlin prevailed over the Sabantine with a King and with a Manziel, and smote the Sabantine, and slew him; but there was no Heisman in the hand of Sumlin. 51 Therefore Sumlin ran, and stood upon the Sabantine, and took his Heisman, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the media saw their champion was dead, they fled. (ed. - go to the link for the full GBH Tailgate experience. They are our enemy this week, but at least they are a hilarious one.)