The Texas A&M Football team beat South Carolina State 70 to 14 at Kyle Field. With the win, the Aggies improved their record to 2-1 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
South Carolina State was the first of two FCS opponents that the Aggies have scheduled in 2012. It offers an opportunity for the coaches to get a look at some of the second and third team players in live action.
It is also a chance for the coaches to try out new schemes and new plays without having to worry about them affecting the outcome of the game.
This is a look at 10 things we learned from the blowout win over the Bulldogs.
Last week against SMU, Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel tallied 418 total yards mainly while improvising on the field. Manziel has great athletic ability but needs to learn to play within the offense if the Aggies are going to be successful in 2012.
Against the Bulldogs, Manziel showed that he is learning the system. The offensive line gave him time to go through his progressions and he spread the ball around.
Manziel completed 15 of 20 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 78 yards on eight carries while scoring two touchdowns. He accounted for five touchdowns in the game a week after accounting for six against SMU.
Manziel took his time to go through his reads especially in the first quarter. He actually passed up a couple of opportunities to run the ball in order to stay into the pocket.
He had a solid game and should continue to improve with more experience.
We are three games into the 2012 season and the offensive line has shown that they cannot consistently line up and knock the opponent off the ball. SCSU eventually wore down but the Aggies cannot run the ball when they need to run it.
Their best option when it comes to running the ball is the quarterback. It did not matter whether it was Manziel or Jameill Showers, with the defense spread out they both had plenty of room to run. The coaches are going to have to incorporate some kind of option game to take advantage of the quarterbacks' mobility.
Right now, the Aggies inability to run is their most concerning issue going forward as they enter the meat of their SEC schedule.
Senior defensive end Damontre Moore is playing at a level that he has never played at while at A&M. He is giving consistent effort on every play and most of the time is simply unblockable.
SCSU tried to run away from him and he would run the ball carrier down from behind. He finished the game with a team leading six tackles. He also had three tackles for losses and a sack.
He is a dominant defensive player right now.
Dustin Harris led the nation in punt return average in 2011 with 18.6 yards per return. He struggled with consistently catching the ball though.
Ever since Sumlin arrived, Harris has seen limited action at cornerback and has been able to concentrate solely on returning punts. He has not had so much as a bobble in three games.
Against SCSU, Harris broke his own school record for punt return yardage in a game which he set in 2011 against Kansas. Harris returned eight punts for a school and SEC record 246 yards against the Bulldogs. His night was highlighted by a 96 yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
The Aggie secondary is still a big question mark. Through three games they have yet to face a quality passing game. The Bulldogs did manage to beat the second team defense deep, when Floyd Raven was burned for a 39 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Aggies are still employing a soft zone scheme in the secondary. It will be put to the test with Arkansas coming to Kyle Field on Saturday.
So far the Aggies have been content to let teams complete passes and then quickly make the tackle. If they try that against Arkansas the Razorbacks will go up and down the field on them.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury have repeatedly said that they need Johnny Manziel to realize that he is not the best player on the field like he was in high school.
It has been pretty obvious the last two games that Manziel is the best player on the field. He is one of the fastest players on the Aggies' team and has a tremendous ability to improvise.
Against SMU he set a school record for total yardage by a freshman with 418 while improvising. Against SCSU he stayed within the confines of the system more, but was still the most dominant player on the field.
When he learns to combine his athletic ability with Sumlin's prolific offense then the Aggies will have a very special player on their hands.
Senior wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu had two receptions in the game for two touchdowns. That comes after a two-catch for two-touchdowns performance against SMU.
He has four touchdowns after three games and appears well on his way to having his best year since his freshman season. Nawachukwu has always had great talent, but his inconsistent hands have hurt him the past two years.
So far Nwachukwu has made his senior season one to remember.
Sophomore safety Deshazor Everett seemed to have a magnet for the football against SCSU but could not catch any of them. He had four near interceptions, including one drop that hit him between the numbers, before finally catching the ball in the fourth quarter.
Everett returned the interception 22 yards for a touchdown. It was the first interception and touchdown of Everett's career.
After going 10 quarters without a turnover, the Aggie offense finally committed one in the second half. Jameill Showers opened the second half under center and his second pass was intercepted by SCSU defensive back Dominic Mitchell.
In a spread passing offense like the Aggies run, you typically trade turnovers for points. With the number of passes that are thrown, it is expected that balls will be tipped and intercepted. As a coach you live with it because the trade off is all the points you can score in the offense.
The Aggies have to be encouraged with how well they have taken care of the ball through three games.
Sophomore linebacker Donnie Baggs saw extended action when the Aggies went to a nickel defense against SCSU.
Baggs had two tackles including 1.5 for loss and a sack on the day. He has very good speed and should be an asset to the Aggies when they face passing offenses like Arkansas.