Saturday, November 12, 2005

Do or Die Time

Texas A&M played one of it's better road games this season, unfortunately it was still not enough to win against the Oklahoma Sooners. It was certainly a more exciting game to watch (the first quarter not withstanding) because the Aggies were literally still in it up until the end. However, a couple of really poor coaching decisions interrupted what could have been a major road win catapulting the Aggies into bowl eligibility. Now the Aggies are 5-5 with only one game left. Texas will be heading into College Station the day after Thanksgiving with their sites set on winning their first Big 12 Championship under Mack Brown and heading for the Rose Bowl to face Southern California.

The Aggies have been very inconsistent this year and have played miserably when it mattered most, but today they showed that they have something in them to make offensive plays even with a depleted receiving corps. Still though, the defense was too soft when it counted, especially at the end of the game. A bright spot for me was the play and more importantly the leadership of backup quarterback Stephen McGee. Starting QB Reggie McNeil left the game in the third quarter with an injury and McGee came in. Where McNeil's option game failed, McGee was able to capitalize. McGee does not have the speed or mobility of McNeil, but he showed poise and the ability to make plays in the option in response to the defense. If he could complete a pass, we'd have ourselves quite a quarterback.

So now, we are thirteen days from the annual showdown with Texas and it appears that Reggie will be out. With all the troubles of the season, I sort of hate to say it, but I'm ready to see McGee start against Texas so that we as Aggies can look to the future. When we hired Dennis Franchione three years ago, I predicted that 2005 would be the year that the Aggies could realistically compete with Texas and OU for the Big 12 South title. Sadly it hasn't worked out that way and no one really knows what the offseason holds for this coaching staff. I am ready for the future and with Reggie's eligibility ending this season, I'd just as soon see the next starting quarterback for Texas A&M lead the Aggies against Texas for the first time on our home field. We might not win, but at least McGee will have played against Texas before he surely starts next year in Austin.

This has most assuredly been a disappointing season and of course one could argue that it is not over yet. We have one game left to play and need only one win to become bowl eligible. Unfortunately, our only remaining game is against seemingly unbeatable Texas. Of course the last time we won the game, Texas was ranked fifth in the country and we were unranked, but both teams have moved tremendously in opposite directions since that clear November day in 1999. I have hopes that the team will play Texas like they think they can win, but outside of today, I have not seen them demonstrate that level of confidence this season. It's Do or Die Time guys! Let's show the state of Texas and the nation that A&M has not quit!

1 comment:

Timmie Smith said...

It was that 1999 game on Kyle Field when Texas was forced at the last minute to play their unexperienced backup Chris Simms after Major Applewhite was deemed too ill to play. Simms was rattled throughout the game by the crowd, and that was a large part of our victory.

Kyle Field will be a much friendlier place for McGee. I also think there isn't as much disparity between he and Reggie as most people think. If Reggie would get the chip off his shoulder he would be the football god we all thought he would be his freshman year, but with the weight of it bearing down on him I think McGee may be the better of the two.

It will be great to see McGee take the field after Thanksgiving. Here's hoping he can lead the Ags to the upset of the season.