Petrino’s second-half adjustments are elite
Let me say up front that I’m not trying to take anything away from Max Johnson and what he showed us in the second half of yesterday’s game. Without his cool, collected countenance behind center, I’m not sure that that game would not have gone very differently.
But that is two straight games against Power 5 opponents with salty defenses that, though they stymied the Aggies in the first half, were diced up in the third and fourth quarters. Those are halftime adjustments of the type and quality that we did not often see in the last few years. It hasn’t been very often in Jimbo’s tenure that this team, schematically speaking, was stronger in the second half. Sure, there were times—namely in 2018 and 2020–where it was case that the Aggies were able to physically wear down opponents with a punishing run game. But except for a few specific examples (Clemson 2018 being one), I didn’t often see Jimbo’s teams able to open things up in the second half against a defense that had their number early on. More often it was an early salvo (think Alabama 2021) that got the team up by enough points that they were able to hold on.
This is different. If this is the Petrino effect—and I think it is—this could be one of the best hires Jimbo has made in his entire time as head coach of Texas A&M football.