Nick Starkel played a great game and if you did not see the game and just saw his game stats you would have thought the Aggies had won the game.
He threw for 499 yards with a 66 percent completion percentage. He had four touchdowns and one interception (which was really bad at the time).
Besides the offensive line, the running back position was a major let down all season. This continued in the Belk Bowl.
The Aggies ran for just 115 yards against the 92nd ranked rush defense in the country. Take away the 43 and 34 yard gains by Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford and the Aggies rush for only 38 yards. That’s simply not good enough. One more stat to ponder before spring ball gets here, take away the two runs and the two sacks, the Aggies rush 27 times for 57 yards.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
This unit played very well. They caught 37 of the 42 completions. Both Christian Kirk and Jhamon Ausbon went over a 100 yards. Damion Ratley did what he did most of the year contributing big plays. He grabbed four passes for 91 yards. Camron Buckley and Kendrick Rogers also combined for seven catches totaling 69 yards.
As for the tight end position, Tanner Schorp caught one ball. This will be a focus in the spring especially on early downs and on crucial third downs.
For the guys in the trenches, I’ve been really hard on them all year. For the most part, the line gave Starkel plenty of time to throw the ball. I can live with only giving up two sacks on 63 pass attempts.
What I cannot live with is the lack of push in the run game. The Aggies had a miserable year in this department so I expect coach Fisher and coach Jim Turner if retained to tweak the line. This will include a new scheme which will be interesting to watch through the spring and fall camps.
The Aggies return everyone so this unit should be better next year, however, my bowl grade will improve but not by much.
We almost saw a repeat of the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Aggies almost pulled off a miracle comeback. The first half and second half performances by the offense were a complete opposite of one another. In the first half, the Aggies had minus seven yards rushing yet was only down 10.
In the second half and especially in the third quarter, the run game got going. Starkel was 23 for 32 in the second half, but in the end it was not enough to overcome the eight possessions in the first half that produced zero points.