Here's a personal lesson I learned on Saturday likely applicable to many: do not let your own opinions be swayed by others, just because "others" are paid highly to share their expertise with the world. Or, simply put, don't listen to Kirk Herbstreit. Here I am, raving about Texas A&M and it's potential since the summer, pumping up the Aggies as the SEC West's biggest dark horse, and what do I do but predict them to lose, doing such due to the love fest heaped upon Arizona State in the preseason. I figured there had to be something to it, but there wasn't, and in the end I re-learned a lesson I learned long, long ago ... always go with your first instinct. OK, let's quickly highlight some things about the game:
This Isn't Like Last Year. Last year A&M shocked some folks when it blasted South Carolina to open the season, following such by peeling off four more wins to open the year. We all know what happened next, and because of that, some may be hesitant to hop on the Aggies bandwagon. Don't be. Time will tell if Arizona State is a 2015 version of last year Carolina, but this Aggies team is deserved of a little post-week one hype. They were impressive on Saturday.
The John Chavis Hire Seems to be Working Out Well So Far. The Aggies had 9 sacks! Nine! The defense the Aggies fielded Saturday was everything A&M's defense hasn't been over the past few seasons: physical, tough, smart, you name it. Chavis has a huge hand in this, I'm sure of it. Myles Garrett performed his usual ditty, notching two sacks and forcing a fumble; and some guy named Daeshon Hall had four sacks, which is good I suppose. A&M gave up 93 points a game over the last two seasons, so holding a well-regarded opponent to only 17 is just downright impressive. And they had defensive players suspended. And it was only just game one. Watch out.
Christian Kirk is the Real Deal. In his first-ever collegiate game, Kirk returned a punt for a score (79 yards), and led his team in receiving (6 catches for 106 yards and a TD). He was sooo fast too. He runs really, really, fast. He was, arguably, the best player on the field. And it was only his first game.
I'm Not Quite Sure What's Going to Happen With A&M's QB Sitch, and I'm Not Sure A&M is Sure Either. Kyler Murray played waaaaay more than I thought he would. I figured he'd be given a series or two tops, but thankfully I was wrong, because I like Kyler Murray and he was fun to watch. Murray played a bit of the second quarter and nearly the entire third. And while his stat line was too modest for me to even type, as predicted, Murray was a major threat whenever he tucked and ran. Kyle Allen, the starter and the pulled following a couple of miscues, got it together eventually to have a decent game (15-of-26 passing, 198 yards, 2 TDs). Kevin Sumlin was asked after the game of his plans going forward with the two, and he offered one of those super vague responses that suggested he doesn't really know. He could be playing coy of course, but to me he came off as a confused guy trying to enjoy a win, not wanting to worry about the decisions he'll have to make tomorrow.