Penalties Need to be Fixed
It’s first game jitters—I get it. That’s all well and good, but 88 yards of penalties is not a winning formula, though this did seem to be a somewhat flag-happy referee crew. I disagreed with several of the roughing penalties in particular, but the Aggies themselves benefitted from penalties here and there—though more often than not, they seemed to be far more warranted than those that benefitted the Lobos.
Still, however, the number of yards given up from penalties has to come down. This was a warm up game for sure, but when you’re facing down the Crimson Tide or the LSU Tigers, you can’t give them any foothold. Things like throwing hands after the play, even if the other player initiates the contact, cannot be a normal practice for this Texas A&M football team. It didn’t get out of hand, and I thought the teammates handled it well when these post-play penalties occurred—ticky-tack as some of them may have been—but this is something that has to be improved.
Thinking specifically about one that occurred near the end of the game, how about Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy? That’s a guy that needs more playing time. I don’t think the coaches minded the flag that was thrown on him—presumably, the ref saw Dindy’s hands up high and threw the flag for a hit near the head of the QB, but the way Gabe absolutely obliterated his blocker and surged into the backfield was eye-popping. It was one of those ticky-tack calls I’m referencing, and how those plays are called will vary by officiating crew, but like I say, I can’t imagine the coaching staff is too upset about Dindy’s effort and execution on that play in particular.
Overall, though, this was a fantastic first game—much better than openers have been in the past under Jimbo. Let’s hope this Texas A&M football team carries this offensive momentum all the way to Coral Gables next Saturday.