Texas A&M came up with an overtime gut-check win over UCLA. What are the 5 Things That Matter?
Trevor Knight did what he had to do
Trevor Knight wasn’t the better quarterback in the Texas A&M win, but he only threw one pick to go along with a touchdown pass and his two touchdown runs, while Josh Rosen threw three picks to go along with his one big scoring throw.
But more than that, Knight was trusted on fourth down with the game – and possibly the season and Kevin Sumlin’s hot seat status – on the line. It was up to him to make the zone-read run from one yard out, and he walked it in. That was his decision.
Knight came through with the win in crunch time, and while it wasn’t his fault, Rosen didn’t.
The Aggies and Kevin Sumlin really, really, really needed this
It wasn’t just that Texas A&M desperately needed a restaurant-quality win over a brand-name team, it’s that it needed that victory after having a 24-9 lead at home late in the fourth quarter.
The defense melted down late and gave up the big touchdown pass and the two-point conversion allowing the Bruins to tie it up, and the offense couldn’t get into field goal range to make amends. However, A&M got the victory, salvaged some pride after a rough start for the SEC, and it ended up happening because …
Kevin Sumlin made the job-defining call in overtime
Sumlin is still one loss away from hot seat status, but what does a confident head coach do under fire? He goes for it on 4th-and-1 in a tie game in overtime and lets his veteran quarterback make a play. If it didn’t work out, Sumlin would’ve been roasted for not kicking the field goal, but the guy had the stones, and the confidence, to go for the victory and set the tone for his season.
UCLA being UCLA
The Bruins are probably better than Texas A&M, but on the road in a hostile SEC environment against a desperate program, they made way too many mistakes with three turnovers, dropped passes, and enough errors to get into a hole they had to dig out of. After the way the program closed out 2015, they needed to show that things were going to be different and that they really were going to be more physical, and they didn’t do it.
What Does This All REALLY Mean?
Texas A&M gets a layup against Prairie View, and then it’s on with a date at Auburn followed up by Arkansas and a trip to South Carolina. If the Aggies are good enough to beat UCLA, they’re good enough to start 5-0 before dealing with Tennessee.
UCLA should be able to bounce back against UNLV, but it’s got to go to BYU before hosting Stanford. 1-3 isn’t out of the question before getting Arizona, but the team needs to be far sharper to flip that to 3-1 before likely going on a decent Pac-12 run. With the way the team played for the first 55 minutes, it’s not a given that it’ll all come together over the next few weeks.