Texas A&M Football: Winners & Losers from Week 10 Game vs Mississippi State
The Texas A&M Football team beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 38-13 in Starkville, Miss. It was the second win in a row for the Aggies who improved their record to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. The Aggies are now in sole possession of second place in the Western division of the SEC with their 4-2 record. They will play first place Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
This is a look at the winners and the losers from game between the Aggies and the Bulldogs.
Winner: QB Johnny Manziel
The Aggies' freshman quarterback had one of the best games of his short career on Saturday. Manziel completed 30 of 36 passes for 311 yards with no interceptions. He also rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Manziel did a great job of taking what the defense gave him and throwing the ball out of bounds with nothing was open. With each passing game, he gets better at running the Aggie offense.
He is finding the open man in the passing game, and using his legs when nothing is open. Next season when Manziel has had a year to get comfortable in the system, he should be the most dangerous football player in the nation.
Loser: Mississippi State Program
After starting the season 7-0, the Bulldog coaches, fans and players thought their program was poised for a breakout year. MSU has given up 38 points in consecutive games in two losses.
The Bulldogs are now 3-2 in the SEC and out of the running for the SEC title game. Now they are simply playing for bowl position.
Worst of all for MSU is that they still need to play a rapidly improving Ole Miss team in the Egg Bowl. A game that looked like a sure win for the Bulldogs at the start of the season now looks like it will be a hard-fought contest.
Winner: Kevin Sumlin
The Aggies' head coach has led the Aggies to a surprising seven wins in their first nine games. He has proven to be the star at head coach that that administration hoped he would be when they hired him.
Sumlin got the senior class to buy into his program, and he has the Aggies playing the most exciting brand of football seen in Aggieland since the Jackie Sherrill days.
Sumlin has the players and fans believing that they can compete and win in the SEC. The Aggies are a perfect 5-0 on the road heading into their showdown with No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
The Aggies have a realistic shot at winning nine games in their first season in the SEC. They have gained respect both in the conference and nationally.
Sumlin should be in line for a large raise during the offseason in order to keep him in Aggieland for years to come.
Loser: Mississippi State Equipment Manager
Much was made of the fact that the Mississippi State was going to wear "snow bowl" uniforms against the Aggies to commemorate their 2000 Independence Bowl win over A&M.
The Aggies countered the Bulldogs' uniform by wearing black uniforms of their own. The Aggies took over the game immediately and built a 24-0 halftime lead. Any excitement and talk about the uniforms quickly switched to concern over why the Bulldogs could not compete on the field.
In college football today, uniforms play a big part in recruiting. The Ags showed recruits that they are willing to change it up and be on the cutting edge when it comes to uniforms.
MSU now has a couple of months of hype that led to a disappointing loss.
Winner: Kliff Kingsbury
Kingsbury drew a lot of criticism after the loss to LSU that he gave up on the run too early. The Aggies' offensive coordinator has had to tweak the offense this year to take advantage of the unique talents of Manziel.
Since the LSU game, the Aggies have rushed for 352 yards against Auburn and 361 yards against Mississippi State. He has adjusted the offense to where it uses Manziel's mobility as an asset while also incorporating the Aggies' stable of talented running backs into the running game.
Kingsbury is growing as an offensive coordinator. Do not be surprised to see his name come up during the offseason when head coaching jobs become available.
Loser: Aggie Secondary
Once again, the secondary was the weakness of the Aggies defense. In the second half, the Bulldogs were able to pick up big chunks of yardage through the air.
MSU quarterback Tyler Russell completed 19 of his 30 attempts for 212 yards and a touchdown to go along with an interception.
The Aggies need to play better in the secondary if they are going to have any chance of staying in the game with Alabama on Saturday.
Winner: RB Ben Malena
Malena has been the surprise of the season so far for the Aggies. He rushed for 112 yards on 17 carries and had a touchdown against the Bulldogs.
Malena has become the Aggies most dependable running back. He is averaging over six yards per carry for the season and should be in line for some All-Conference postseason honors.
The junior from Cedar Hill, Texas, has transformed himself from a career backup into a difference-maker in the toughest conference in America.
Loser: K Taylor Bertolet
Bertolet missed one field goal and had another field goal blocked. He made one of three field goal attempts on the day. While Bertolet did make all five of his extra point attempts, his inconsistency remains a major issue for A&M.
You have to be able to count on your placekicker in SEC game. Right now, the Aggies cannot count on Bertolet to make field goals from any distance.
Expect the Aggies to choose to go for it on fourth down more often in the future, because they simply cannot depend on Bertolet.
Winner: DE Damontre Moore
The Aggies' start defensive end added another sack to his SEC leading total. He sacked Tyler Russell once to give him 11.5 sacks on the year.
The most impressive play of the game, and the one that should leave the NFL scouts in attendance buzzing about Moore, was when he ran down Bulldog receiver Chris Smith from behind after a 42-yard gain.
It is pretty rare to see a defensive end run down a wide receiver 42 yards away from the line of scrimmage. It speaks volumes about how hard Moore has played during his junior year. He is giving it his all for A&M on every snap.
Loser: Aggie Depth
The nagging injuries are starting to pile up for the A&M football team. Moore, Trey Williams and Mike Evans are all struggling with minor injuries right now.
Williams left the Mississippi State game with a hamstring injury. Moore has been nursing an ankle and leg injury since the Lousiana Tech game.
Evans also has been playing through a leg injury. The Aggies need to hope that their front line players can hold up for the next three games.
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