If football games were only two quarters long, the Ragin’ Cajuns would have pulled off a tremendous upset against Texas A&M. Unfortunately, you have to play all four quarters in order to get the win. Texas A&M played a rather quiet first half but came alive in the second. Once they got rolling, the Aggies made big plays on both sides of the ball and essentially removed the Cajun offense from the game. The upset alert at halftime became irrelevant quickly, as Texas A&M took the lead by scoring touchdowns on each of their first two drives and never looked back. That would prove to be enough points to secure an Aggie victory.
Once the momentum shifted away from the Cajuns, the wheels completely fell off of the offense. Jordan Davis could no longer make any plays and the momentum shifted in Texas A&M’s favor. It is also worth noting that Davis had a few plays where he was limping very badly due to a hit that he took on a run. That could have been a factor in why his play shifted so dramatically in the second half.
While his injury status is unknown, what we do know is that he committed four turnovers throughout the game. That is far too many for a team looking to pull of an upset. It has become pretty clear that the team is living and dying by the play of Davis this year, for better or for worse. He has a supporting cast around him that can make plays when given the chance, but this game ran through Davis. His abilities to get key players involved are proving to be more limited than the team would like when it comes down to do-or-die time.
The aforementioned supporting cast includes Keenan Barnes and Ryheem Malone in the passing game, and Trey Ragas in the running game. Barnes and Malone continued to quality touches in this game, but they were essentially non-factors once the Aggie defense bared down. Trey Ragas had a decent game running the ball and delivered some punishing truck sticks to Aggie defenders. His hard-nosed running style has been very efficient so far this year, as he is averaging a massive 10.9 yards per rushing attempt through three games. The ball needs to be in the hands of these playmakers more often if the Cajuns want sustained success on offense.
For a little while it looked like the defense had finally turned things around. After a slough of points given up in their first two games, they held Texas A&M to only 14 in the first half. Things were starting to look up, but, like all things for the Cajuns in this game, the second half had other plans. The Aggies developed a rhythm and put up 31 unanswered points to coast to a comfortable victory.
The positive that can be taken from the defensive performance is that there were flashes of what the team is capable of this year. They are big and talented in the box, and they played that way to start off. If they can sustain that level of play throughout all four quarters they could be a source of strength for the entire team. The Cajuns’ defense needs to prove that they can play a complete game.