Texas A&M-Commerce-15, West Texas A&M-3—Five Morning After Thoughts

  1. This first point is simple. This team needed to face a tough test by going on the road and getting a tough win against a tough team. They did that. Once again, the offense struggled, but the defense and special teams came up big. As a team, going to Buffalo Stadium in Canyon (and Kimbrough Stadium before that) is one of the toughest road trips in all of Division II college football. Winning there is hard for anyone, but WT is one of those teams that has been constantly making strides to get better every year under Hunter Hughes and if their administration will continue to back him, they will be making leaps to the LSC upper echelon now that both Tarleton and TAMUC are either going or have gone to Division I. With teams in Super Region 4 going down and one perennial power (Minnesota State-Mankato) essentially eliminating themselves from contention with a loss last night, the hope of the playoffs and this group of 27 seniors making a run for a National title one last time looks like more and more a possibility.
  2. The Texas A&M-Commerce Defense is a top ten defense in the nation, and I might be underrating them from that standpoint. This unit is responsible for this win, the win against CSU-Pubelo, and has been outstanding the past 20 quarters of Football. This team has allowed 2 touchdown drives in 20 quarters of Football, both against Saginaw Valley State. If you take away the Pick 6’s that have been thrown, this team has only allowed a handful of sustained drive points. This defense is the definition of elite, and if we do make it back to the playoffs, this unit will be is what keeps us above ground.
  3. The offense. I don’t know where to begin. First off, we have thrown way too many interceptions this year, 3 of them returned for touchdowns. Heck, that might a conference record! It was the difference in the losses to Saginaw Valley State and Midwestern State. We don’t throw those, we win the game. Also, this whole “rush to the line to catch them off guard” thing is not working, and it never has. All that does is create penalties, negative plays, or worst of all, turnovers. Again, this goes back to making routine plays. It doesn’t matter if it always works in practice. Practice is not a game, and it is not working when it matters. Second, JT Smith needs to be on the field a lot more than he is. Maybe not at tailback, but don’t tell me you can’t fit him in at Receiver. Go 4 Wide with JT, and that speed can kill. You can coach a lot of things, but not speed. Also, the offensive line has got to do a better job at picking up the blitzes and not creating drive killing penalties like holding. Overall, the offensive line has done very well but lately the pre-snap penalties and the holding, along with not adequate blitz pick up is not doing any Quarterback any favors. The good news? The coaches know this, have admitted to this, and know they need to make corrections and adjustments. That being said, Miklo Smalls rolling out looked really good last night and OC Reibock did a good job of adjusting in moving the ball between the 20’s in the second half.
  4. Special teams-Once again, Jake Viquez scored half our points with two field goals and an extra point. He is going to knock himself because he missed two field goals, but the fact that he hit the ones he did try after the misses shows he is focused on scoring and playing the next play. Mitchell McGarry was outstanding for the second straight game and shown himself to be the guy now to punt. He is going to get nothing but better, and the return game was on point. Nothing flashy, just made routine plays.
  5. Going Forward-We all know that a lot can happen in the next 3 weeks. All we can do is take care of business on our end. A good UTPB team comes to Commerce next week, and then we have our biggest test of the year when we head out to Angelo State, but again, one game at a time. UTPB is tied for second in the LSC and could win out. You never know. After the mess of Super Region 4, a path to the playoffs does exist, but for now, its play the next play, and celebrate today, but go to work starting Monday.

Roar Back Here.....

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