Kudos to the running backs
First off, I would like to applaud both quarterbacks on their ability to hand off the football and as a whole, make smart reads. The Aggies had a tremendous game on the ground and that need not go unnoticed. Hats off to Trayveon Williams and Kieth Ford. Stay healthy, because we need you here in Aggieland.
To most people’s surprise, the redshirt freshman came out and managed to do okay with the big boys. Starkel came out and did a fairly decent job for his first start. No, his stats weren’t the most impressive (6-for-13 for 62 yards), but there were multiple positives to take away from his first performance.
The most comforting thing that I saw from him was his composure in the pocket. Yes, there were times when he could’ve sat back and made a sandwich with all the time he had. Instead of panicking when his first receiver wasn’t open, he went through his progressions and then found the check down. This is one of the more difficult things to instill into young quarterbacks so seeing this is a definite positive.
The fact that he at least tried to go through his progressions was a good thing to see as well. Most young quarterbacks have the “one-and-run” mentality: One look at one receiver, and if he’s not open, I’m running. Starkel knows that running isn’t his greatest asset, so he played to his strengths and tried to use his arm as much as he could.
We saw him throw the ball across the middle which is something that has been absent in the Aggie playbook for a while, besides a slant to Kirk ever so often. When Starkel stepped up and zipped it over the middle, it was a true display of what he could grow to be one day.
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As a whole, his ball placement was pretty solid. Sure, there were a few passes that were inaccurate but most were spot on, especially for a redshirt freshman. The first fade route he threw in the first quarter could’ve been better and more receiver friendly, but the second one wasn’t bad at all. There were many factors for why that ball wasn’t completed. The play calling on that series was not good, and they never should’ve thrown the ball. I get that the coaches were wanting to give Starkel some confidence with his first touchdown and I think that’s a good idea. Still, when you have a beast in Kieth Ford and you’re 10 feet away from the end zone, learn from Pete Carroll’s mistake and just run the football.