This Offense for Texas A&M Football is For Real
Conner Weigman opened the game with a stellar drive and never looked back. The Aggies showcased a much-improved passing game under new OC Bobby Petrino, with passing TDs on each of the first two drives, both on beautiful throws by Weigman.
New Mexico tried to control the clock early, but the Aggies capitalized on the opportunities they got. They scored on their first five possessions, with Noah Thomas accounting for three of those scores. His and Weigman’s connections had Aggie Twitter abuzz.
Another things that stood out was the balance. There was an exactly even split between passes and rushes at 16 apiece at the half. The production was great from both as well, with 100 yards rushing and 175 yards passing (good for 6.25 YPC and 10.93 YPA—both elite marks). By the end of the game, those marks would finish at 134 rushing yards (4.6 YPC) and 277 passing yards (8.1 YPA). Against a team that was selling out to stop the run and sack the quarterback (68th in YPC allowed and 75th in sacks/game last year—both in the upper echelon of G5 teams), those aren’t half-bad rushing numbers. Of course, Max Johnson and the backups came in in the fourth quarter, but the point remains that the offense was overall quite impressive.
The yardage totals don’t really tell the whole story here. 411 total yards could seem meager in the grand scheme of things, but there were a few factors that made the number artificially shrink. You know your offense has the opposing unit beat when they are interfering and holding with regularity, and the Aggie receivers drew some five such penalties against the Lobo secondary—those yards were obviously not counted in the total. Second, the average starting field position for the Aggies was quite advantageous, with their average start outside of garbage time being around their own 40-yard line. This was thanks in large part to great special teams play on the part of the returners. Less of a field to drive, lower total yards.
This is all with the team staying pretty vanilla offensively. There was a marked lack of presnap motion, hurry-up between plays, or “trickeration” from this offense for Texas A&M football. On one occasion, Weigman threw an incomplete pass to Stewart in the end zone only to run the exact same play for a second time and get a touchdown out of it. They were just letting their athletes go be great out on the field—”feeding the studs,” as Petrino would say. I expect the Aggie play caller to reach a bit deeper into his bag of tricks—especially when it comes to the run game—next week against Miami.