COLLEGE STATION -- Mike Goodson changed his mind. Now, Texas A&M's precocious sophomore running back wants to return kicks.
Coach Dennis Franchione talked to the 6-foot, 192-pound Goodson
about that possibility two weeks ago, but Goodson shrugged off the
suggestion. He warmed up to the idea after watching some running
backs do it on TV in last weekend's openers.
"Now, I see that's just another way to get the ball," said
Goodson, who rushed 10 times for 65 yards in Saturday's 38-7 win
over Montana State.
Goodson returned kicks and punts sporadically in high school and
says he brought back a few for touchdowns.
His renewed interest in special teams was news to Franchione
"So that's a new deal and if he'll go work on it, we'd more
than happy to let him return them if he can be the best guy
catching them," Franchione said. "If he's ready, I'm ready."
Sophomore Jordan Peterson returned four punts for 25 yards in
the opener, and senior Kerry Franks returned two kickoffs for 82
total yards and had a 99-yard return for a touchdown last season.
"He ain't about to take my job," Franks said with a laugh. "I
can't let him take my job."
DROP ZONE: The Aggies produced only 129 passing yards in
Saturday's victory, and A&M's receivers dropped five passes by
coach Dennis Franchione's count. The Aggies rushed for 261 yards,
but they were outgained 403-390 by Montana State.
Not exactly a breakout performance for an offense expected to be
one of the Big 12's most explosive this season.
Quarterback Stephen McGee, who went 10-for-20 for 112 yards
without an interception, blamed some of the misfires on simple
rustiness that's common for teams in openers.
The No. 23 Aggies (1-0) play Fresno State (1-0) at Kyle Field on
"The first game, it's always tough to get everything flowing
just as beautifully as you'd like it to," McGee said. "Hopefully,
we can make some big improvements from Week 1 to Week 2."
McGee looked at the bright side - the Aggies didn't have any
turnovers or delay-of-game penalties.
"A lot of times (in openers), guys make a lot of mistakes in
that area," McGee said. "We were pretty sound. Now, just going
out there and playing will be the next step for us."
Offensive coordinator Les Koenning was more critical. He warned
that A&M's pass protection was an issue before the opener and McGee
was often under pressure against Montana State.
"We didn't think we played good enough in the passing game to
just win on throwing," he said. "We've definitely got some room
to improve to go there and we know that. Protection, route running,
throwing, catching - those areas need to get better."
WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS: Dennis Franchione has been Texas
A&M's coach for more than four years and he still hasn't figured
out which way the wind blows at Kyle Field.
"You watch me after pre-game warmup, I walk off every time
looking at the flags and some are blowing one direction, some are
blowing sideways," Franchione said. "If you stand down at that
end, it's blowing one way and if you stand down at the other end,
it's blowing another way."
Lucky for him, his kickers seem to have the mystery solved.
Before every game, Franchione lets his kickers pick which way they
want to kick if they get that option in the opening coin flip.
"I just put my trust in them in that regard," Franchione said.
"But believe me, there are more days that I have walked off the
field clueless about which way to kick the ball because of the
On Saturday, Matt Szymanski drove kickoffs into the end zones in
both directions and kicked a 34-yard field goal. Justin Brantly
booted five punts for an average of 45 yards.
Franchione wouldn't mind seeing some wind-blocking additions
made to Kyle Field - just to give him peace of mind.
"I hope some day we do something about those corners there, to
enclose or put some Jumbotrons in that affect the wind patterns
somehow, so I can figure it out," he said.
QUOTABLE: "Thirty-one's a lot to beat somebody by. If you're
playing Madden (NFL), the video game, once you get up by 21, the
game's over. If I'm playing against my brother and I get up by 21,
he has to pass the controller." - Tight end Martellus Bennett, on
whether he thought A&M's opening 38-7 win over Montana State was