Even though the Texas A&M football team showed signs they might have a second half collapse for the third time this season, the Aggies continued scoring and managed to contain Baylor's Robert Griffin III enough to get the much-needed Big 12 victory.
The real story of the game, however, came up front. A&M dominated Baylor on both sides of the ball at the line of scrimmage. While Griffin was able to scramble for some yards and make plays with the ball, his timing was thrown off by a relentless pass rush from Texas A&M that ended with five sacks.
One of the biggest highlights of that dominance was sophomore linebacker Damontre Moore. Last season, he was effective when he was rushing opposite No. 3 overall pick and Butkus Award winner Von Miller, but this season, the added attention has made Moore's presence muted. He picked things up in this one, showing the flashes of brilliance which made him such a breakout player last year. Moore used his size and speed to fly past Baylor right tackle Ivory Wade for two sacks and multiple pressures. Baylor apparently had no answer for Moore or any of the A&M blitzes.
While Griffin did run a very good passing attack that marched down the field and scored some points, late in the game his elusiveness proved problematic. On one drive in the fourth quarter, he managed to escape the rush, but threw a bad pass downfield that turned into a jump ball for A&M cornerback Dustin Harris. It marked A&M's first turnover since the SMU game.
On the offensive side, Ryan Swope will garner most of the attention for setting receiving records and making two very long runs. Ryan Tannehill did a great job, too, both throwing the deep ball to Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu and Jeff Fuller and in running the option play himself. Tannehill's long run set up Christine MIchael's short touchdown at the end that pushed A&M over the 50-point mark for the first time this season.
Nwachukwu had his finest game since his freshman season in this one, too. He was catching balls down the field, along the sideline and generally taking pressure off a hurting Jeff Fuller. He also ran a reverse that almost broke for a long gain, showing how explosive he can be at times. The A&M coaches had to be glad to see that.
But, the game was really won by the Aggie blockers up front. They not only kept the Baylor pass rush off Tannehill, allowing him to throw so many deep balls, but they also just mowed down the Bear front seven on running plays. Both Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael had good games running the ball, but they also had huge holes to run through thanks to Luke Joekel, Jake Matthews and Co.
Much like last season's game in Waco, the Bears couldn't keep up with the Aggie offense, faltering late as A&M pushed them around and controlled the game. Because of that, Texas A&M will take a lot of confidence out of this game moving forward.