Texas A&M Football: Winners and Losers from Week 1 Game vs. Florida
The Texas A&M football team opened up the 2012 season and Southeastern Conference play with a 20-17 loss to the No. 24 Florida Gators at Kyle Field.
The Aggies took a 17-10 lead in the first half, but the Florida coaches made halftime adjustments and shut down the Aggie offense in the second half. Florida scored 10 unanswered points to win the game.
The game answered a lot of questions about the Texas A&M football team, but a few still remain. No one wants to start a season off with a loss, but there are positives to take away from this game.
This is a look at some of the positives and negatives to come out of the loss to Florida.
Winner: Quarterback Johnny Manziel
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The freshman quarterback completed 23-of-30 passes for 173 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Manziel added 60 yards rushing. He proved that he could be a playmaker against a solid SEC defense.
Manziel has a lot to learn and needs to work on going through his progressions. The Gators were able to shut down the A&M offense in the second half by crowding the line of scrimmage and daring Manziel to throw deep.
Manziel never did it and the Aggies were shut out in the second half.
He proved in his first game that he has the ability to be a difference-maker in this league. The future is very bright for Manziel and the quarterback position at A&M.
Loser: De'Vante Harris
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De'Vante Harris' impressive offseason earned him a starting spot at corner as a true freshman. He struggled mightily in his first college game.
Harris missed multiple tackles on the day. When you are playing in the secondary in the SEC, you need to be a sure tackler. Harris was often seen diving at Florida players' feet on the ground. He needs to learn to break down and make a form tackle.
There is a big transition when going from high school football to college football. An even bigger one when your first college game is against an SEC team.
Harris should get better in the future. The Florida game should serve as a learning experience. If he treats this as such, then he should improve as a player. If he continues to tackle like he did in the Florida game, then he will soon find himself on the bench.
Winner: Damontre Moore
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The junior defense end from Rowlett had the best game of his career on the biggest stage. In front of the College GameDay cast and a national television audience, Moore registered 10 tackles and three sacks.
He showed everyone that he would be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. When you make big plays in the SEC, you catch the attention of national award panels.
Moore's performance put his name at the top of the list for the voters of the All-SEC and All-American teams.
He could not have picked a better time to have a dominating performance.
Loser: Texas A&M Reputation
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The 20-17 loss to Florida did not hurt the reputation of Texas A&M as a school or the football program. However, the Ags wasted a huge opportunity to make a statement on a national stage.
Florida was a very winnable game and a victory over the Gators would have offered A&M the chance to thumb their noses as all the critics who said that the Aggies would get killed in the SEC.
It was just another wasted opportunity. The fans were excited about playing in the SEC. A win would have bought the program and the Aggie coaches a lot of good will with the fans. Instead the game left the fans frustrated after watching another wasted opportunity.
Winner: Mike Evans
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Mike Evans is a redshirt freshman wide receiver from Galveston, TX who was a basketball star in high school. Mike Sherman liked what he saw from Evans during the one year he played football as a senior at Ball High School.
Evans received a scholarship and redshirted in 2011. He earned a starting spot with a strong fall camp, and he had a very strong performance in his first career game.
Evans led all Aggie receivers with seven reception for 60 yards against Florida. He proved adept at using his body to shield smaller defenders from the ball and displayed great hands.
Evans should be a great weapon for the Aggies going forward.
Loser: Ryan Swope
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The Aggies desperately need someone to step up in the second half to make a big play and get the offense going. Ryan Swope is supposed to be that kind of player for the Aggies.
Against Florida he basically did not show up. He had five receptions for 16 yards. The Florida defense rendered Swope useless in the game. Freshman receivers Thomas Johnson and Evans had a better game than Swope did.
When the game is on the line, the seniors are supposed to step up and show leadership. Against Florida, Swope did not get it done.
Winner: Spencer Nealy
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The senior defensive tackle from San Antonio had a tremendous game against Florida.
Nealy had five tackles and two sacks against the Gators. That is outstanding when you consider that he had 1.5 sacks in all of 2011 from his defensive end position.
Nealy was considered one of the team's biggest question marks headed into the game, because no one knew how he would adjust to playing defensive tackle in such a physical league.
Nealy showed that he can be a quality defensive tackle at the highest level of college play.
Loser: OC Kliff Kingsbury
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Kliff Kingbury is considered one of the bright up and coming young coaches in college football. He was the offensive coordinator for the best offense in the country at Houston in 2011.
Kingsbury struggled in his first game coaching for the Aggies. After calling a masterful first half when the Aggies piled up over 250 yards of total offense and 17 points, Kingsbury failed to adjust to the Florida defense in the second half and the Aggies were shut out.
The Ags barely had over 100 yards of total offense in the second half. They could not put a drive together. If the Ags are going to make a bowl in 2012, then their offensive coordinator is going to have to call a better game than he did against Florida.