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September 20, 2009
Sunday Rewind: Texas A&M 38, Utah State 30
The Sunday Rewind is a weekly collection of notes and quotes from the Texas A&M football game of the weekend.
Texas A&M true freshman receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu had the best day in the history of A&M freshmen when it comes to touchdowns Saturday. He broke Leelane McElroy's 17-year old record when he scored four touchdowns in A&M's 38-30 win over Utah State. By the way, Nwachukwu only touched the ball four times.
Although Nwachukwu's mark is an all-time high for an A&M freshman, it's good enough for a six-way tie in second amongst all-time Aggie games in scoring.
By the numbers
A look at a few numbers from A&M's 38-30 win over Utah State.
4A&M true freshman receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu scored four touchdowns on four touches Saturday, three through the air and one on a 39-yard reverse. It broke the freshman record that was previously held by Leeland McElroy who had three in against Missouri on the same date in 1992.
3 Nwachukwu's three receiving touchdowns matched the school record for receiving touchdowns in a game, which is shared by three players. Chris Cole was the last to do it in 1998 against North Texas.
300A&M junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson threw for 322 yards Saturday, which is the fourth 300-yard effort of his career. Johnson is the first Aggie to ever achieve the 300-yard mark four times. He's also just the second to do it in back-to-back games, joining Reggie McNeal who did it against SMU and Texas State in 2005.
400Johnson finished with 400 yards of total offense. He had 406 against New Mexico, putting him into the 400-yard club in back-to-back game with just one other Aggie players - Reggie McNeal - who did it against SMU and Texas State in 2005.
78 Johnson rushed for 78 yards on 11 carries, a career-high. His 42-yard scramble was also the longest carry of his career.
8 Johnson completed 21 passes Saturday to 8 different receivers.
Eye in the Sky
Quote of the day
Although A&M got the win over Utah State Saturday, the Aggies lost on the injury battle. The biggest hit was the loss of sophomore receiver Jeff Fuller. Fuller made two catches for 25 yards, but on the second reception, a 15-yard first down, Fuller didn't get up.
His foot planted in the turf as he went down to catch a ball thrown low and a little behind him, and his leg twisted the wrong way. Fuller was carried off the field and never returned. How long he will be out is still undetermined, but it will be for the foreseeable future.
"As typical coaches, we don't have the details just yet. I believe he has a crack in his fibula," Sherman said. "He has a crack in his leg. I don't know the extent and how long that will hold him up."
Fuller, however, wasn't the only one injured Saturday. True freshman Christine Michael had 94 yards on 17 carries when he injured his calf in the third quarter. Senior right tackle Lee Grimes was also pulled from the game in the second quarter, and was replaced by sophomore Danny Baker.
"(Michael's) was a calf strain. I think he'll be fine," Sherman said. "(Grimes) bruised his ribs. He banged his ribs. I don't know how extensively."
Texas A&M had 14 penalties for 123 yards against New Mexico in the Aggies' season-opening win. It was worse against Utah State with 16 penalties for 147 yards. The majority came along the offensive line where the Aggies had nine penalties, eight being false starts. Three penalties on the line came against left tackle Michael Shumard, who made the move to tackle from guard for the game Saturday.
"The refs were whistling on our go count," Shumard said. "It took us a while to get them to realize we weren't actually false starting."
"On the false start penalties, they were yelling out a cadence to get us to jump and it worked," Sherman said. "At the half, we made an adjustment and we were better on that, but we still had penalties."
The Aggies also had crucial penalties on special teams with three 15-yard personal fouls that tacked on yardage at the end of kickoffs. In all, penalties forced A&M into a much more dire position than it needed to be in.
"We had some mundane penalties we shouldn't have had. Last week we had 14 and this week we had 16," Sherman said. "In my career, we've always been a little-penalized team for the most part. We haven't proved that yet at A&M. We have to get that fixed. We can't have that much and expect to win the ballgame in most cases. That's been addressed and will be addressed again. It was addressed before the game, it was addressed during the game and it was addressed after the game"
Miller time again
For the second week in a row, junior jack Von Miller totaled three sacks, which ranks as the most per game in the nation. Miller also had five tackles and a forced fumble Saturday.
"All of our guys did a great job of putting pressure tonight. (Matt) Featherston looked great and Spencer Nealy came out and showed what he can do even though he's just a freshman," Miller said. "Everybody looked like a starter tonight. We could have been better but we're going to take the win and work on next week."
A&M totaled five sacks on the night with nine tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. All five sacks came from the defensive line.
Sophomore punter Ken Wood averaged 43.5 yards per punt on five punts, downing three inside the 20-yard line. Twice he ran around the edge and kicked a soccer style punt on the run. Each rolled to be downed inside the 20-yard line Freshman Dustin Harris was able to return just one of seven punts. He returned it for 28 yards Shumard started at left tackle while sophomore Evan Eike started at left guard Sophomore Ryan Tannehill led A&M in receptions with five. He gained 60 yards and had one touchdown.