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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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One step away
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Small Packages

 
 

Its going to be a shame, a true wasted opportunity, if Facebook feeds dont start blowing up with Johnny Football-themed Halloween costumes. I want to see guys named Johnny dressed up like footballs. I want girls wearing things that say future Mrs. Football. Go wild; hes earned it. He did whatever he wanted to a bad SEC football team on the road, and if thats not enough reason for a Halloween costume I dont know what is.
But hold on a bad SEC team is not the same thing as a bad team. Dont get that confused. Auburn isnt good and head coach Gene Chizik is likely on his way out just two years removed from a Cam Newton-driven national championship, but A&Ms 63 points was the most by an Auburn opponent since 1917. The 63 points were the floor Saturday. Manziel only led eight drives seven went for touchdowns and the eighth ended in a missed Bertolet field goal before being pulled early in the third quarter.
If 63 were the floor, what was the ceiling? What if the defense hadnt showed up? J-Foot (heres to hoping that nickname catches on) might have closed in on his own SEC total yardage record, might have notched 10 touchdowns.
Who on that field was going to stop him?
Saturday was about Johnny. But, since all of this seasons Saturdays have been about Johnny, lets talk about something else: the running game. Here I refer to the running game involving those people whose only job it is to run the football, not the there-goes-Johnny-doing-Johnny-things running game.
Manziel carried nine times for 90 yards, but he also handed it off 39 times. His three-headed backfield (freshman Trey Williams, senior Christine Michael, and junior Ben Malena) averaged 7.05 yards per carry and gained 275 yards. If Im wrong, you can hold it against me, but Id be willing to bet that this Aggie team will never lose a game with those rushing numbers on the road.
The freshman Williams was the revelation against Auburn. We shouldnt be surprised this freshman class has been sensational but the knock against Williams, the thing Ive held against him, was his size. Small running backs arent every-down backs in the SEC, just as they arent in the NFL. But Williams carried 19 times for 110 yards and a score, catching three passes out of the backfield for an additional 24 yards.
Aggie fans have seen Williams this season. He has handled kickoffs most memorably when he took a fourth-quarter kickoff more than 70 yards into LSU territory in the 24-19 home loss and has seen spot work in the run game, usually to spell Michael or Malena. Saturdays 19 carries, even if a good chunk came with the game well in hand, is substantial. That offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury had the confidence in Williams to give him 20-plus touches in an SEC game says something about what the staff thinks they have in the freshman.
Truth be told, Ive been waiting to talk about Williams all season. Hes a special talent. If he doesnt pan out as a viable option in the backfield, I expect to see four years worth of punt- and kick-returns good ones out of him. But a lopsided affair against a one-win team went a long way to cementing the picture of Williams as a future featured running back of Sumlins Aggies.

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