It's becoming so much of a recurring theme, one could
almost call it cliché - nonetheless, the Wildcats
seemingly shot themselves in the foot again Saturday,
as a result of turnovers, penalties and other mental
In all, the Wildcats were penalized eight times for 99
yards, had more dropped passes than you can count on
one hand, and missed assignments on defense leading to
"If you do silly things, and beat yourself up, you
can't win that way," coach Bill Snyder said.
Those "silly things" started early, with penalties
giving the Aggies an extra 29 yards on their opening
drive. A fair catch interference penalty moved Texas A&M's starting position up 14 yards to the Wildcat 41.
On the next play, the Wildcats were flagged for a
personal foul, moving the Aggies ahead 15 more yards.
With the ball now on the Wildcat 26, quarterback
Reggie McNeal cut through and ran by the Wildcat
defense to give the Aggies an early lead.
How frustrated is Snyder with the team's lack of
discipline in these areas? "On a scale of one to ten,
you know the obvious answer," Snyder said.
Snyder said the personal foul penalties, among other
things, were direct results of problems with
discipline, "and discipline falls right back in my
lap." Snyder said the bulk of what is plaguing the
Wildcats is controlled directly by the individual
players. "You've got to have the discipline to make
the right decisions and do the right things to not put
your team in jeopardy."
The first quarter was a somewhat abysmal one for the
Wildcats on both sides of the ball, but the defense
took over in the second and third quarter, along with
the beginning of the fourth. During this time, the
defense allowed just seven points, and allowed the
Wildcat offense many opportunities to get back in the
"I thought we played well enough defensively to win,"
Snyder said, but added that more consistency is needed
on third down situations. "Something is happening that
seemingly is positive, and, bang, you break down on
third down. Then you're back on your heels."
When the Wildcats finally took advantage of their
opportunity to come back, it was the defense that
failed. Trailing by only two, the Wildcat defense took
the field with the Aggies at their own 24. Eight
plays, 76 yards, and almost four minutes later, the
Aggies were back in the end zone, and had made it a
Snyder said some positives could be drawn from the
comeback at the end of the game. "I thought they
fought back," Snyder said. "I thought they didn't give
up. That's significant and important for a team
that's had three losses."
The offensive spark in the fourth quarter came from a
passing attack that totaled 357 of the Wildcats 384
offensive yards. Allan Evridge completed 23 passes,
including three for touchdowns.
Another positive for the Wildcats was the continued
ascension of receiver Jordy Nelson into local hero
status. Nelson caught another touchdown pass,
lengthening his own record to seven games, but also
found another way into the end zone. Nelson appeared
on the punt return unit for the first time this
season, and scored by diving on a blocked punt early
in the fourth quarter.
The schedule gets no easier next Saturday, with the
Colorado Buffalos coming to Manhattan. A relatively
mistake-free game from the Wildcats would be a welcome
sight, and may be necessary to keep the Wildcats
within striking distance. A foot can only be shot so
many times before it has to be cut off.