Q&A WITH THE 12TH MANCHILDRecently we said Howdy! and exchanged pre-game thoughts and some light-hearted Q&A with the 12th Manchild, a proud member of the A&M blogosphere (along with TAMU & Baseball and probably others). He's a youngun' but he knows his football (read #4 and #5 for proof). Our A's to his Q's will be posted here - here are his responses to our gentle missives:
TH: First, a three-part question on Aggie traditions: a) Do you ever get so good at yelling that you don't need the practice? b) Have you ever been in a class that was dismissed because Reveille barked? Is that just an urban legend? c) Have you ever actually gigged anything?
12th: A. While as an individual yell-er, you may know every yell ever used in the history of the 12th Man, and your voice may be in game shape, even Vince Young needed to practice with the rest of his team. Yell practice serves as an opportunity for the 12th Man to come together before the actual game and go over a few things:
- review the pass-backs (hand signals indicating which yell) and actual yells
- work on making sure odd and even rows are "Sawing" in opposite directions
- constantly improving our balance (the 1st and 2nd deck bleachers on the student side are terribly wobbly... especially when one is innebriated, which is what the vast majority of students are at midnight on a friday night)
- it facilitates better communication between the yell leaders and the 12th Man. Like how they scolded people for booing Fran's decision to punt during the Nebraska game (Aggies are renowned for not booing, we make the sound of a horse pissing on something instead...), and we give feedback to the yell leaders on how lame or good their 'fables' and speeches are.
c) Besides your mom? OHHHHHHH.... but I digress, during my time here at A&M, I've met some people from east Texas (an interesting breed..) who actually have gone frog gigging at night. Yet, with the spread of electricity -> TV -> Playstation to the region since the early 20th century, I believe the pastime has declined in popularity.
TH: What does Jorvorskie Lane eat in a typical day? Please be specific - we want types of foods and quantities.
12th: During the season, Fran & Co. keep Jorvorskie on a strict diet consisting of:
- Freeb!rds. lots and lots of Freeb!rds burritos. Super-Monster size ONLY (envision a small shoulder-fired missile, except..girthier). Filled with steak, chicken, and the remains of various Big XII safeties & cornerbacks who thought to singlehandedly smite him in the open field.
- Shakes made from expired buttermilk and cement mix.
- a steady intake of Timex, Omega, and TAG Heuer. Especially on gameday.
- a mystery meat that only Jorvorskie and his mad scientist nutritionist truly know the identity of. Remember the 'Aggie Nut Squeeze' all over YouTube earlier this season? Those freshmen were tasked with concealing Jorvorskie's post-game snack from the public, yet were caught sneaking glances. Their punishment: self-mutilation on national tv.
12th: Ahh yes..the Bama Betrayal. Sure, you can call it all kinds of terrible and negative things, but if that were you at the helm of a fast sinking ship, sabotaged by your predecessors, would you have turned away a lifeboat the size of Texas A&M? As far as Fran leaving, get outta here. The only way someone leaves the head coaching job at Texas A&M is by way of a boot. His wife calls their home in College Station their "pine box home", because the only way they're leaving it is in a pine box. So, as far as I'm concerned, Texas A&M is Fran's final head coaching job.
TH: Why doesn't Fran utilize both Lane and Goodson more often in the backfield at the same time? Seems like the threat of three runners (with McGee) would put much more stress on the opponent's line-backing corps.
12th: Wow. Great question. I will attempt a coherent, multi-part answer:
- I don't think Lane is as good at blocking as he is at running people over..if that makes sense. It's one thing to destroy a man in your way and it's another to seek out a player and force him to move in a chosen direction. Not only that, but the J-Train needs some time on the sideline to regain some steam as well..
- Our FB, Chris Alexander, is a phenomenal blocker. Pass block and run block.On every single one of Mike Goodson's long yardage runs, you will see Alexander lay someone out. We can count on Alexander to play consistently well in any formation, no matter what the play.
- While increasing the number of times Goodson and Lane are both on the field could lead to a decrease in offensive production, you're right about it making things more difficult for the LBs. Which is exactly why we featured the Lane & Goodson set much more during the Oklahoma game.
- In conclusion, Fran and Koenning have found the Goodson & Lane set effective only when used as a psychological tool against tough run defenses, increasing the effectiveness of our misdirection plays. Other than that, I say we don't need to fix an offense that doesn't appear to broken.
12th: There are two matchups that I'm losing sleep over as we get closer to the game. DeSean Jackson vs our entire secondary AND Marshawn Lynch vs. our 1st Qtr. Defense. While our secondary has shown great improvement since September, we're still extremely vulnerable to a WR that knows how to sit in the holes of a secondary in zone coverage. Mix that knowledge with Jackson's nasty speed and we're in trouble. For unexplained reasons, our defense always seems to give up the most yardage and points in the first quarter of our games (example: OU game). Allowing Lynch to romp all over us for a full quarter would be disastrous.
The matchup I'm looking forward to: Stephen McGee vs Desmond Bishop. It's not that I don't respect his 84 tackles and his 4 years of experience, or that in the open field he wouldn't crush McGee, I just don't think Bishop and the rest of his LB brethren will be prepared for balls to the wall style of option McGee runs (nobody is). McGee's option experience and his ability to sell the counters and the option-pass will have Bishop two-steps behind on every play.
Our thanks again to the 12th Manchild and our best wishes for a clean, injury-free game on Thursday.