Lamar vs. Texas A&M: Game Grades, Analysis for the Aggies

David Luther@@davidrlutherFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2014

Sep 6, 2014; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill (7) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Lamar Cardinals at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The start of the game was delayed by two hours, but the end result was exactly what we expected it to be: a Texas A&M beatdown of FCS Lamar.

What we weren't expecting was the size of the beating.  The Aggies rolled up 73 points to the Cardinals' three in what was one of the most lopsided games of the young 2014 season.

We saw a lot from Texas A&M, and a lot of what we saw validated what we thought after last week's win at South Carolina.  So, just how good were the Aggies?  Let's take a look at their game grades.

Box score via NCAA.com

Texas A&M Game Grades
PositionFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseA-B
Run OffenseB+A-
Pass DefenseBA
Run DefenseAA
Special TeamsAA
CoachingAA-
September 6, 2014

Pass Offense

To start the game, Kenny Hill was, well, Kenny Hill.  He came out and absolutely lit up the Lamar defense, leading A&M to a first-quarter lead that included over 200 yards of total offense.

But Kenny Hill isn't the only part of the passing game.  A few dropped passes kept the first-half performance from being absolutely perfect, but we're still willing to give the Aggies' passing game an "A-" grade.

In the second half, young Kyle Allen struggled a bit.  He only had two completions until well into the fourth quarter.  Some of those were drops, some were poor passes, but they all combined for a shaky performance, downgrading the overall passing offense grade for the day to a straight "B."

Kenny Hill: 17-of-26 for 283 yards, 4 TD, 2 carries, 6 yards

Kyle Allen: 12-of-16 for 122 yards, 2 TD, INT 

Run Offense

The run game was actually a pleasant surprise for A&M.  While the Aggies could lean on the passing game, the backs got into the action today, and piled up 225 combined yards and four touchdowns.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 06: James White #20 of the Texas A&M Aggies rushes past Xavier Bethany #29 of the Lamar Cardinals at Kyle Field on September 6, 2014 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

As Lamar's defense became more and more tired in the second half, the holes opened up.  Even better is the fact that the A&M running game took full advantage of the holes.

Texas A&M had three backs gain more than yards; it's encouraging to see a strong second facet of A&M's offense in 2014.

Pass Defense

The only way Lamar could move the ball was through the air—and even then, it wasn't all that great.  The pass defense didn't start off with its hair on fire, but it was certainly solid.

As the game wore on, the secondary began to swarm, and Deshazor Everett came away with the Aggies' lone interception of the evening.

All told, the Aggies held Lamar's Caleb Berry to 16-of-42 passing for 153 yards, no touchdowns and the aforementioned interception.  That's easily good enough for an "A."

Run Defense

There's not much to gripe about here.  Through four quarters, the Aggies gave up just 90 yards on the ground.  Lamar averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on the evening, and any ball-carrier was met almost immediately by a D-lineman or linebacker.

The longest run given up by the Aggies?  Just 13 yards.

Easy "A."

Special Teams

With all the punting Lamar did, you might have thought that A&M would have had more than three punt returns on the evening.  Still, the Aggies averaged 32.3 yards per return.  What's even more impressive about that number?  That includes one return with zero yards.

Josh Lambo connected on his only field-goal attempt of the night and nailed all 10 of his extra-point attempts.

The two kick returns A&M had on the day averaged 37 yards.

Another easy "A."

Coaching

To be honest, we didn't think Kevin Sumlin and his staff really needed to do much tonight.  Lamar was overmatched from the get-go, and the Aggies probably would have rolled on autopilot.

Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press

Still, the minor adjustments needed early were needed, and A&M began rolling before the first quarter was over.

The only markdown we have is for the second half when Kenny Hill returned to the game.  With A&M up big, Hill was still taking snaps.  What's wrong with that?  Oh, just the late hit he took that buckled his knee out of bounds.

Okay, so Hill wasn't hurt and nothing came of it (other than a 15-yard penalty against Lamar).  But what if something had happened?  Sumlin would have been pilloried for leaving Hill in so long.

Still, we're perfectly willing to give Sumlin and the coaching staff a healthy "A-" grade today.

Unless otherwise noted, quotes or references to quotes were obtained firsthand by the writer.

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