Texas A&M - Florida Recap
By Donovan Tennimon
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
Unfortunately for Aggie fans, Texas A&M blew another lead in the second half to fall in their SEC debut.
In a tough, physical game, Florida outlasted Texas A&M 20-17 Saturday afternoon. The Aggies proved they are physically able to compete in the SEC, outgaining Florida 334 yards to 306. Despite the loss, the Aggies have a lot to build on as they progress through their schedule. Quarterback Johnny Manziel was very efficient against an aggressive defense, completing 23-of-30 passes for 173 yards and not turning the ball over. Also, Manziel was the Aggies leading rusher with 60 yards and one touchdown.
The Texas A&M offense looked impressive in the first half. They scored on their first three possessions of the game and were driving on their fourth possession as time expired. The Aggies held a 17-7 lead late in the second quarter, but Caleb Sturgis kicked a 51-yard field goal to bring the Gators to within seven points prior to halftime.
The Aggies' offense then struggled in the second half. They had the ball six times and went three-and-out on four occasions. Their longest drive in the second half was for seven plays and 22 yards. Five of their six possessions ended in a punt, and the other possession ended with a fumble. This has to have Aggie fans worrying after the team’s notorious second half collapses last year. That’s one of the primary reasons the old coaching staff was let go and Kevin Sumlin was brought in.
Florida took their opening possession of the second half 67 yards, and Sturgis connected on another field goal, this one from 25 yards out. Mike Gillislee had another solid game, with 83 yards on 14 carries, and scored both of Florida’s touchdowns; the second coming early in the fourth quarter to put the Gators ahead. For the most part, the Aggies were able to contain the Gators' rushing attack, giving up only three yards per carry on 48 total carries by the Florida offense. The A&M defense also harassed Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel from start to finish. The Aggies' defense finished the day with eight sacks.
As indicated by the score, the game was very competitive and close statistically as well. Each team accumulated 21 first downs and neither team turned the ball over. The Aggies did hurt themselves with penalties, with nine for 78 yards. This may have been a result of having not played a game during week one due to Hurricane Isaac. Also, Florida had a big advantage in time of possession, as the Gators had the ball for over 35 minutes.
If the Aggies can continue to apply pressure with their front seven like they did against the Gators, and if Manziel can keep up the solid play, then A&M should be able to rebound from this loss with a solid performance against SMU next week. They did a good job of taking care of the football; now they need to clean up some of their penalties. Also, the Aggies definitely don’t want to continue the trend of blowing halftime leads. The Mustangs will welcome the Aggies to Dallas next Saturday at 2:30.