Posted: 8:20 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
By Dr. Norris Camacho
1. Turnovers. The offense did a good job of protecting the ball, but Ben Malena uncharacteristically fumbled a kickoff return right before halftime that almost led to a momentum swing and some free points for Rice. Kickoff returns and coverage overall needs some work, although punting was a bright spot. Still, at least we didn't fair catch a kickoff like Rice did.
2. Players ejected.Freshman DE Daeshon Hall foolishly took a swipe at a Rice lineman's helmet, and the punishment was justified (in addition to what should be a sore hand and whatever torture Sumlin and Larry Jackson cook up for him). Everett's was something else, and we probably haven't seen the end of it.
3. Manziel passing TDs on 6 completions and 8 attempts. He benefitted from a couple of really short fields set up by interceptions, but it's still not a bad ratio.
4. Total passing TDs. Matt Joeckel added in a really pretty 71-yard strike to Ricky Seals-Jones, which was the first career TD for both players. Larry Jackson's not gonna like that RSJ ran out of gas at the end, though.
5. Minutes it took us to get out of the parking lot and back on the highway. I can't recommend the West Campus park and ride enough if you are interested in making a quick getaway, especially if you're headed back to San Antonio or Austin. They've really got this down to a science.
6. Defensive starters kept from starting yesterday due to suspensions. That was 75% of the starting secondary and the vast majority of experienced front 7 players. Actually Baggs, Obioha, Hurd, and Howard Matthews seemed to be the only defenders out there who had seen any kind of regular PT last year. As a result we got a healthy dose of freshmen and 306 rushing yards from Rice.
7. The big question: why no #7 Kenny Hill? Does this mean we're keeping his 'shirt? Joeckel really didn't do anything worthy of being taken out of the game, but it seems like we heard a lot about seeing heavy doses of Hill in the first half.
8. Aggies with a catch. This is not bad for a game in which we were shuffling quarterbacks and leaning heavily on the run game, especially since we only attempted 27 passes overall. Mike Evans had the obvious lion's share with 6 receptions.
9. Number of kickoffs. I actually got this prediction right on SpreadsheetAg's prediction thread. In fact, I predicted our score precisely. Too bad my prediction for Rice's score was woefully inaccurate.
10. I think this is probably the number of minutes Taylor Bertolet spent coiffing his McConaughey-esque mane before the game. He warmed up without a helmet for as long as possible. I think the confidence it has engendered in his ability is extremely important: he was a perfect 9-for-9 on XP's, almost 50% on kickoff touchbacks, and threw in a 44 yard-FG on his only attempt.
11. Tackles by true freshman LB Darian Claiborne. He didn't officially get the start, but saw plenty of action and made some key plays, including a TFL on a crucial 3rd down early in the second quarter, which was the first time we managed to stop Rice.
17. Difference in minutes of TOP. We knew Rice would need to hang on to the ball a lot to have a shot in this game, and they did a really good job: 38:24 to 21:36.
63. Yards per punt on three punts by Drew Kaser. The highlight of his day was the 76 yarder that completely flipped the field against Rice, but he had a couple of great ones in the first half that pinned them deep also. All three of his punts were downed inside the 20.
153. Approximate number of times the Rice spirit band played "Louie Louie," the 1963 hit by The Kingsmen. In fact, the only other song we were able to identify was a funked-out version of "Love Shack" by the B-52's.
7,000. Approximate temperature in degrees Fahrenheit at the south end of the 3rd Deck. This was the hottest game I can remember being at since Fresno State in 2007.