Last night’s game experience was superb. Aside from the win, what everyone saw was the product of what happens when a University’s Brass along with the Athletic Administration, donors, boosters, alums, students, and of course the student athletes come together and create a game day dynamic that was amazing to behold. Let’s get to wrapping this up and then onto the next match up.
- I have said it once and I will say it again, The Lion defense is really special. The Carthel coached defenses have always had big play making ability, but this group executes so well, and that is the one big difference that you are seeing. Two games into the season this unit has only allowed 14 points and 441 yards. One of those teams was a national title contender. The mental lapses of the past have been purged for the most part, and when I talk about assignment defense and execution, next week will be when the rubber meets the road. This defense is the trump card when we start playing tougher opponents.
- The Offense played pretty well, The O-Line gave Luis Perez an eternity to throw and Perez made very good decisions. I could tell he was tempted to shoot downfield multiple times but he did a great job of taking what the offense was giving him and not making mistakes. When he had nothing he could throw to, he would either scramble out of bounds or just throw the ball away. Perez has the acumen that cannot be taught but has to be inherent, and he is using it. The offensive line as I stated did a superior job and as under appreciated as they are, they just keep creating lanes for the offense to do their thing.
- Last week the running game gave me some pause, but after last night, I am greatly encouraged. TAMUC SID Josh Manck said on the radio last week that this is going to be a running back by committee situation, and he is spot on in regards to that assessment. Richard Whitaker, Carandel Hale, and EJ Thompson put up 176 rushing yards while Hale and Thompson both scored the first touchdowns of their offensive career. Having a running game that is set up by a powerful passing attack is the most helpful supplement to make the offense perform at it’s maximum potential.
- I have to tip my hat to William Jewell and their fans. There were probably 100 or so of their fans that showed up and they were very gracious people. I also have to tip my cap to WJ Quarterback Brad Strauss who was punished but kept getting up and on his final play fired a strike with no time left to give the Cardinals the points they wanted. Jewell played very hard and the pride and spirit the fans showed even in the face of a rough defeat showed their class and graciousness. I wish them all the best of luck wherever they land up next year and if they play as hard as they did last night, they WILL have success against more even competition.
- Best In Class. TAMUC AD Tim McMurray has made that the athletic department mantra and the experience has shown that. Memorial Stadium is the polar opposite of what it was a decade ago. I know, I was there. A very mediocre college stadium that had a lot to laugh at and about is now one of the best D2 stadiums in the entire nation, and what makes it more enticing is the fact that the athletic department is not shooting for being one of the best, they are gunning for THE BEST, and knowing what I know about Tim McMurray and his athletic department, the best is yet to come.
Offense-Vincent Hobbs had a career day. The Junior Tight End/Inside Receiver had 7 catches for 105 yards and did a fantastic job blocking in the backfield and also blocking downfield. Hobbs is a guy I was told to look out for, and his play in the flats was superior. Congrats to him and welcome to the MVP circle!
Defense-Alex Shillow. The Redshirt Freshman from Pflugerville notched an interception in addition to 2 solo tackles and 3 total. He also threw one back for a loss. The entire defense played exceptional, but Shillow was one who I felt stood out. He also played great cover defense.
Special Teams-Tristan Perry. The true freshman from Mineral Wells, TX did not have a booming average, but what he did do was drop 2 of his 3 punts inside the 20 yard line and booted a 40 yard beauty that pinned Jewell deep into their own territory, and a lot of times, it takes more skill to drop a punt in a certain place that to just blast it. Also, a huge tip of the cap to the special teams coverage units who allowed absolutely NOTHING for Jewell to get going on the return game.