An amazing effort by the Aggies this weekend, so amazing in fact, that I wanted distance myself from game by a couple days just to make sure I had my mind straight and objective to what it all meant.
First let me say, no way in a hundred million years, would I have ever guessed it would be that close. My official prediction for that game 49-24. I figured they would score some points but what a job Coach Andersen and Coach Busch did preparing and coaching up that defense for that game. Sure they gave up a lot of yards, including over 200 yards on the ground to DeMarco Murray and 142 yards receiving to Ryan Broyles, but they did get stops when they need to and gave the team a chance in the 2nd half to win the game.
For example, end of the 2nd quarter, Oklahoma has just gone up 21-0. Utah State's offense drives into Sooner territory and scores a TD on a fake FG, but it's called back on what I've heard was more than a questionable illegal downfield call, then settle for a field goal. Sooners get the ball back with about 3 minutes to play, defense forces a 3 and out, getting the offense the ball back with 2 minutes to play. They march down the field and Michael Smith punches it into endzone, giving the Aggies momentum.
Or the beginning of the 4th quarter, when it was a 7 point game. Sooners driving, looking like they're gonna score when Junior Keiaho picks off Jones, keeping the game in reach. The whole 4th quarter was a spectacular display for the D, shutting the Sooners out. Of course the one stop they didn't make was in the 3rd quarter, 4th and 1, when the Sooners went for it in their own territory and then 2 plays later scored on a 60+ yard run by Murray, putting them at 31.
Regardless though, these types of defensive stops haven't happened with an Aggie team in a long time. If this is the level the defense plays at for the entire season, then there is no question this team is heading to a bowl game and a 2nd place finish in the WAC.
A few other things I liked from the game, the receiving corps. Dontel Watkins and Xavier Martin looked really good, especially Watkins. And Borel, well, 3 picks is bad and 2 of them were awful throws, but still, he had a lot more great throws than bad ones. He put up 341 yards and 2 TDs against Oklahoma, I'm going to choose to focus on the positive here.
What I didn't like, Derrvin Speight getting so many carries when Smith was more effective; 6 yards per carry effective. Speight was getting 2.3. Give it to the guy who has the hot hand.
Overall happy with the effort; even though, as Coach Andersen said in a call in interview we did with him, that he doesn't believe in "moral victories," I think this was the kind of game they needed to give them confidence to win this year.