Big D's Five Keys - How did the Aggies fare?

On Fridays, Aggie Websider lays out the five keys for success. So how did the Aggies do with those five keys this week?

1. Did A&M win the first quarter? YES
The Aggies forced Texas Tech to punt on consecutive possessions for the first time this year, marching down the field for a touchdown in between. The Aggies had a chance to really open up the game on their next possession, which could have given them a 14-0 lead. However, the first quarter was the only quarter that the Aggies won. Perhaps next time, I should include that you have to match blows for the final three quarters after winning the first.

2. Did A&M win the turnover battle? NO
The Aggies recovered a fumble and Stephen McGee threw and interception to even out the turnovers on Saturday. However, A&M did have at least one other chance for a turnover that would have likely been returned for a touchdown. Danny Gorrer made an excellent read on one of the worst passes from Graham Harrell all day, but he apparently started smelling the ensuing touchdown and failed to make the catch. Adding salt into the wound, the Tech wide receiver caught the ball off the deflection. A&M needed more big plays on defense to have a shot in this game, and it just didn't happen.

3. Did A&M get pressure on Harrell? NO
Again, in the first couple of defensive series, the Aggies did seem to get some pressure on Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. The result? Texas Tech punted on consecutive possessions for the first time all year. However, Harrell finished the day 30-of-37 (81 pct.) with 425 yards and three touchdowns and pretty much had all the time he needed in the pocket, with the Aggies recording just two quarterback hurries.

4. Did A&M Tackle, Tackle, Tackle? YES
The Aggies did a good job of making tackles, there were just too many plays when the Red Raider receivers went untouched—all the way to the endzone. A&M did a good job of making tackles, and I cannot recall any big plays that were the result of a missed tackle. Unfortunately for A&M fans, Harrell did an outstanding job of finding the open receiver in situations that allowed for lots of yards after the catch.

5. Did A&M control the clock? NO
The Aggies started the game by forcing a Texas Tech punt and then marched 73 yards on 10 plays, burning more than five minutes off the clock. Jorvorskie Lane ran for 21 yards on the drive and the Aggies didn't throw a single pass, even though the wind was at their backs. Texas Tech had no answer for the rushing attack of A&M, yet, on the next possession, the Aggies decided to start throwing the ball in unusual situations, which caused their second drive—which gave them a chance to go up 14-0—stall out, leaving them with a missed field goal that turned the momentum of the game. The Aggies finished with more than 33 minutes of possession, but that gave Texas Tech way too much time to be on the field, as the final score suggests.

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