We’ve now had a few days to let the win against Texas A&M really sink in. The more I think about it, the more excited it makes me. That team went out and gave one of its best performances of the season. That’s expected when a team gets time to prepare and game plan; however, it is not expected when James Burgess, three time starting senior linebacker gets ejected for a horribly called and even more horrendously upheld targeting call on the first play from scrimmage. You can’t game plan for losing one of your best edge rushers shortly after that either. Not to mention, Shaq Wiggins missed most of the first half on the play that sent Burgess to the locker room. This very young team overcame every obstacle thrown at them in Nashville, and did it with style.
First off, I want to thank all the seniors. Though there weren’t many, the impact they had is what caused those guys to step up when needed most. The defense did a fantastic job and that cannot be said enough. Yeah, they gave up 20 points and a couple big plays; however, they made plays when this team needed it the most. Josh Harvey-Clemons with a forced fumble and an interception on back-to-back defensive possessions. Devonte Fields caused more disruption in the backfield than anyone I’d seen all season. Keith Kelsey made play after play, and that’s only a few names. The entire defense stepped up, shout out to Jaire Alexander, James Hearns, and Stacy Thomas for stepping up when called upon. The defense performed very well, and left a lot to be desired for next season.
Now, let’s take a look at what the whole nation was talking about, Lamar Jackson. I was watching the game with my family and our family friends who happen to “bleed blue”. Cheering for the SEC quickly turned into talks about how fast Lamar is. As if that game in Lexington wasn’t enough to dash the hopes of BBN for the next couple years, the bowl game definitely put the cherry on top. Becoming just the 3rd player in history to do so, Lamar rushed and passed for 200+ yards. He fell 3 yards short of Johnny Manziel’s quarterback bowl game rushing record of 229 yards, finishing with 226. He accounted for all 4 touchdowns, throwing for 2 and running for 2. Basically, the Aggies had no answer for the true freshman. Lamar put on the performance that would encompass a career, not a freshman season. This kid is special, and the whole nation now knows that. The scary part is, he’s only going to get better.
The Music City Bowl got higher TV ratings (5.4) than the Sugar Bowl (5.3). That means that Lamar Jackson is now a well-heard-of name. His performance captured the eyes, admiration, and fear of the nation. The best part is, his weapons are returning with him. This team should be ranked in the top 25 entering next season, they’ve certainly earned it. For anyone who decides to overlook the Cards, the price will surely be paid. An 8-5 season, after starting 0-3. Who would’ve thought? The time is here Card fans, this team will make noise on the national level before their time is done. Don’t believe me? Just watch. Go Cards!