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September 6, 2009

Sunday Rewind: Aggies demolish New Mexico

The Sunday Rewind is a weekly collection of notes and quotes from the Texas A&M football game of the weekend.

Texas A&M 41, New Mexico 6: Jerrod Johnson - 31-41-0-349, 2 TD passing; 13-57 rushing, TD...Jeff Fuller - 10-111, TD…Christine Michael - 11-93, TD…Von Miller - 5 tackles, 4 solo, 3 TFL, 3 sacks. ... A&M offense - 606 yards, 245 yards rushing, 361 yards passing.

Two-minute drill

Texas A&M limited New Mexico to just 21 yards rushing while racking up 245 yards offensively on the ground. The marks were almost a complete opposite from the stats the Aggies put up last season in the two categories. The last time A&M rushed for over 200 yards in a game was in a 36-14 win over Nebraska on Oct. 20, 2007 in which the Aggies run for 359 yards. The last time A&M held a team under 100 yards rushing was on Sept. 29, 2007 when it held Baylor to 60 yards on the ground in a 34-10 win.

Sept. 5, 2009New Mexico24521A&M 41-6
Nov. 27, 2008Texas-24216Texas 49-9
Nov. 15, 2008Baylor64269Baylor 41-21
Nov. 8, 2008Oklahoma26328Oklahoma 66-28
Nov. 1, 2008Colorado94194A&M 24-17
Oct. 25, 2008Iowa State128173A&M 49-35
Oct. 18, 2008Texas Tech20111Texas Tech 43-25
Oct. 11, 2008Kansas State125215Kansas State 44-30
Oct. 4, 2008Oklahoma State184215Oklahoma State 56-28
Sept. 27, 2008Army133280A&M 21-17
Sept. 20, 2008Miami (Fla.)87159Miami 41-23
Sept. 6, 2008New Mexico92216A&M 28-22
Aug. 30, 2008Arkansas State133255Arkansas State 18-14

By the numbers
A look at a few numbers from A&M's 41-6 win over New Mexico.

606A&M's 606 yards of total offense was the highest offensive output in the Mike Sherman era and it is also the highest total ever in a season opener in A&M school history.

231The 231 yards A&M limited New Mexico to on Saturday was the lowest output an Aggie team has held an opponent in the Mike Sherman era.

21A&M limited New Mexico to 21 yards rushing after finishing No. 114 in the nation against the run in 2008 by allowing 219.25 yards per game on the ground.

10Sophomore wide receiver Jeff Fuller caught a career high 10 passes Saturday.

111Fuller's 111 receiving yards was also a career high in a game for the sophomore.

5A&M had 5 sacks Saturday. That surpassed any single game in 2008 in a season in which the Aggies had just 16 sacks total.

3Junior jack Von Miller made good in the opener on his hype coming out of training camp with 3 sacks Saturday. Miller had 3.5 sacks all last season.

13A&M played 13 true freshmen against New Mexico Saturday with three starting - linebacker Jonathan Stewart, cornerback Dustin Harris and wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu.

Eye in the Sky

Quote of the day

"I say the sky is the limit for us. I have a lot of confidence in them and they all are going to be great ball players. We're getting on the right track and a lot of that has to do with the freshmen." - A&M junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson on the play of Aggie freshmen.

Fresh fish
There was no doubt that A&M would play a lot of freshmen in the 2009 season, but Saturday the Aggies played 13 true freshmen and five redshirt freshmen in their 41-6 win over New Mexico. Three true freshmen started - linebacker Jonathan Stewart, cornerback Dustin Harris and receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu - and redshirt freshman Kyle Mangan started at linebacker.

"My hat is off to Coach Cassidy and Coach Sherman for getting the young guys ready to play," said A&M sophomore wide receiver Jeff Fuller. "When I was a freshman they got me ready to play and I had a good freshman year. They're just going to keep on stacking the freshmen like that every year. It's a beautiful thing. It just shows that they know how to seek talent."

True freshman running back Christine Michael led the Aggies on the ground with 93 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Nwachukwu and fellow freshmen receivers Brandal Jackson and Kenric McNeal combined for eight receptions and 122 yards and one touchdown (McNeal). Stewart, linebacker Sean Porter and defensive end Spencer Nealy all had three tackles to lead the true freshmen on defense.

Miller time
Junior Von Miller moved to the new hybrid defensive end/linebacker position called the jack during the offseason, and after a camp in which no one from A&M could block him the hype had reached epic proportions. If Saturday is any indication, however, the hype is legit.

After just 3.5 sacks in all of 2008, Miller racked up three sacks Saturday and five tackles overall as he absolutely abused New Mexico left tackle Byron Bell with his speed.

"Every game is important," Miller said. "I want to go out there and make plays for my team and get it done."

Penalties take toll
If there was one major problem for A&M it was penalties. The Aggies committed 14 penalties for 123 yards with a lot of them coming against the offensive line with holding and procedural penalties. A lot of that can be chalked up to the amount of new comers playing prominent roles.

For instance, the Aggies started three true freshmen and one redshirt freshman but junior transfer Matt Allen hadn't played in an actual game since his senior year at Klein Collins High School in 2005. But the penalties are definitely something Sherman said has to be fixed.

"We did have numerous penalties, which a week ago I said in this room I didn't think we'd be a heavily penalized team," Sherman said. "We had some penalties that put us in long yardage situations, and we won't be anybody if we don't get that fixed."

Quick hits
Sophomore Ryan Tannehill didn't see as much action at receiver, but A&M's leading pass-catcher from 2008 was a mainstay on the field in long yardage situations. Tannehill has four receptions for 40 yards…The reason Tannehill isn't playing as much is because he is A&M's backup quarterback, but Saturday it was redshirt freshman Tommy Dorman who got mop up work at quarterback. Dorman finished 1-2 for 12 yards…With true freshman Ryan Swope not dressed Saturday, receiver Lionel Smith handled kickoff return duties along with Christine Michael…Junior college transfer Coryell Judie played in the fourth quarter at cornerback. Judie had only been on campus for two weeks before Saturday's game.

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