COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It was a wild one at Kyle Field on Saturday when Texas A&M defeated Mississippi State 51-41. Here are three things we learned from the Aggies' third straight victory:
Still things to work on for the defense: The Aggies had their ups and downs on defense after two strong weeks leading up to the Mississippi State game. The level of competition was better, and the challenge was unique with two quarterbacks (Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott), both of whom are big guys. The Aggies gave up 299 rushing yards, 154 of which belonged to Prescott, who was effective with the read option attack. The pass rush wasn't quite what it was recently (one sack), and the Aggies lost the turnover battle, but they did have success on third down, holding the Bulldogs to just four conversions on 13 tries.
Manziel still has maturing to do as a passer: He knows it, and he admitted after the game that he can get greedy at times throwing the football. Manziel threw three interception, perhaps the most ill-advised one being the last, when he tried to force a ball to Mike Evans which was picked off by Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley. Manziel likes to take chances, and that's part of what makes him great, but he also can get better when it comes to learning the value of getting to the next play, instead of trying to create a big play every time.
Special teams is getting better: The Aggies got a great effort from the third phase of the game on Saturday night. They blocked a punt for the second straight week, which led to two points, and they had a kickoff return for a touchdown that was nullified when Trey Williams dove for the end zone (the dive was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct) but it led to a touchdown nonetheless. No field goal attempts for the Aggies, but Josh Lambo was perfect on PATs.