Thursday Talking Points

Mark Passwaters, Publisher
Aggie Yell

A few things worth liking so far

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While the first couple of games have absolutely sucked, there have been some positives on the ledger for the Aggies. They're not many, but they do exist. Here are a few to consider:

Williams, Ford and Bussey. In spite of 48 men in the box, these three guys have been able to really rack up the yards. Williams is averaging 7.8 yards a carry, Ford 5.6 YPC and Bussey 6.1. Granted, they haven't played the '76 Steelers yet, but these guys have done a good job -- a lot of those yards have come after contact.

The counter trey. This is why Keaton Sutherland should be moved back to right tackle. He and Connor Lanfear were running the counter trey at an NFL level, invoking memories of the Joe Gibbs Redskins (even though, believe it or not, Lanfear and Sutherland are BIGGER than the Hogs). It's imposing when 680 pounds of human being have a running start at you, and this was something the Aggies failed miserably at last year.

Rush defense. The Aggies have been lousy defensively overall, but they've stuffed the run well. Even last year, with UCLA and Prairie View, the Aggies still got stuck with a few big runs. This year? Their longest run against is 17 yards and they're giving up just 2.4 YPC.

Daylon Mack. He didn't rack up any tackles against UCLA, but had a consistent push. He dominated against Nicholls State, and maybe he can become the beast everyone's been hoping he can become after all. Teaming him with a quick guy like Justin Madubuike can only work in his favor.

Landis Durham. Here was a guy nobody gave the time of day to in the offseason, and he may well be a starter for the rest of the year. So far, he's been the team's most productive defensive end, with 6 tackles, a sack and a QB hurry.

The young corners. I know this sounds crazy, but I have really liked much of what I've seen from Charles Oliver and Myles Jones. A&M may have their corners for the next three years set.

Priest Willis at nickel. He has the coverage skills to handle crossing routes (UCLA) and isn't afraid to hit someone. I like him here. A good bit, in fact.

Alaka and Dodson. Dodson is grabbing the attention because he's leading the Aggies in just about every statistical category (ok, second in tackles), but Alaka has been really good as well. It's a small sampling size, but they've done what they've needed to do to shut down the running game. Most importantly, they're not missing tackles.

What I'd do at QB

I'd start Jake Hubenak and put everything in the playbook at his disposal. If they're trying to hide things from Arkansas, they need to realize that 1) they're not good enough to do that it this point and 2) Arkansas may not be good enough to stop it even if they knew what was coming.

Get Hubenak out there and see if you can stretch the field against a defense that is really, really bad. It's time to get some of these younger players (Clyde Chriss, Jhamon Ausbon, Roshauud Paul) going and help decide who's going to be in your real 8 receivers (maybe 6 now). Then, once you've dropped the hammer on these guys -- WHICH YOU SHOULD -- then bring in Mond and give him significant playing time.

The problem A&M has had, do its detriment, has been to ease up on teams when they get a lead. It's about time that they figured out that they can't afford to do that anymore. So don't. Keep the throttle down and beat up on who you're supposed to beat up on. THAT'S how you help a younger team.

Who's burned their shirts so far (and if I agree)

QB Kellen Mond: Didn't have a choice, did they?

RB Jacob Kibodi: Unless he gets a lot of PT Saturday, this is a waste. They want him to be a bruiser, but he's not even 200 pounds.

WR Jhamon Ausbon: He's still going to be good. This year. Don't @ me.

WR Camron Buckley: Wouldn't have done it. But nobody asked.

WR Hezekiah Jones: He'll also be good.

WR Roshauud Paul: I already like what I see. This kid will be a really good one.

S Keldrick Carper: Been burned so far, but what do you expect from a kid who is learning on the fly? I think he'll be very good when it's all done.

LB Anthony Hines: Hasn't played much, but hasn't needed to. Good for both sides.

DT Jayden Peevy: TD Moton's probably gone because of this, but he's held his own so far. That alone surprises me. So much the better.

LB Buddy Johnson: Haven't seen him much at LB, but his destruction of UCLA's returner on special teams showed me he's a special athlete.

CB Myles Jones: This kid is going to be so, so good.

OL Carson Green: As a glorified tight end? Waste of time. But it shows they think really highly of him.

OL Jared Hocker: Another kid that A&M snagged from out of nowhere who could end up being a real player.

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