|Height: 6-2 | Weight: 198 | College: Texas A&M|
One of the finest pure athletes in college football, 2005 was supposed to be McNeal's coming out party, but the team's struggling offense and a late season injury kept him from reaching that next level as a senior. Few players, much less quarterbacks, have the speed, agility and arm strength McNeal displays. He can rival Atlanta's Michael Vick in a foot race and challenge the deep passing ability of the Colts' Peyton Manning. Still, when names are tossed around for early draft consideration, McNeal's name is not familiar to the average fan.
McNeal was named Super Prep Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Lufkin High School. He was rated the third-best quarterback prospect in the nation and earned All-America honors from that recruiting service. He added Parade All-American, East Texas Player of the Year, second-team All-State (by the Texas Sports Writers Association), first-team Super Team selection (by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine) and District MVP honors. He was also named one of six finalists for the National High School Player of the Year Award.
He led his Lufkin team to a 15-1 record and the Class 5A Division II state championship (38-24 win over Austin Westlake). McNeal rushed for 159 yards and threw for 223 yards in the state title game and brought his team back from a 21-3 deficit, despite injuring an ankle. As a senior, McNeal completed 134 of 307 passes for 2,385 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for 856 yards on 165 carries and 10 touchdowns to combine for 3,241 total yards and 34 touchdowns in the 2001 season. He also played defensive back in critical stages of games, making an interception and returning it for a touchdown to clinch a playoff victory vs. Killeen High. As a senior, he intercepted seven passes on defense.
As a junior, McNeal threw for 2,150 yards while completing 115 of 230 attempts and 25 touchdowns to earn second-team All-State and District MVP honors. He also rushed for ten touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he passed for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns while earning Sophomore of the Year honors.
McNeal also excelled in basketball, baseball and track. He earned All-District honorable mention on the basketball court and was the district champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as a junior. He finished third in the 100 at the state track meet. McNeal was a four-year member of the All-Academic Excellence team and also a member of the student council and the President's Roundtable.
Expecting to redshirt in 2002, Texas A&M decided to activate McNeal for eight games. He came off the bench vs. Oklahoma to earn National Player of the Week honors after throwing for four touchdowns in a 30-25 upset win over the top-ranked Sooners. McNeal would gain 456 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions on 24 of 45 passing (53.3 percent) that year. He added 137 yards on 37 carries.
He started eleven of twelve games for the Aggies in 2003, but was utilized in a shuttle system with Dustin Long in several contests. McNeal connected on 113 of 221 attempts (51.1 percent) for 1,782 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed 127 times for 370 yards (2.9 avg) and four scores.
In 2004, McNeal switched jersey numbers from No. 16 to No. 1. He was named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and first-team All-Big Twelve Conference quarterback (by the Dallas Morning News) after a spectacular junior season. He passed for 2,791 yards (school single-season record) and 14 touchdowns with only four interceptions on 200 of 344 passing (58.1 percent). He threw for more than 200 yards in ten games, including a career-best 298 vs. Wyoming. He rushed for 718 yards (single-season school record for a quarterback) and eight touchdowns on 151 carries (4.8 avg). His 3,509 yards in total offense broke the old school single-season record of 2,667 by Mark Farris in 2000.
The 2005 season turned sour when the Aggies lost their last four games to finish 5-6. McNeal started the first ten games, but a left ankle sprain vs. Oklahoma kept him out of the season finale vs. Texas. McNeal connected on 141 of 265 passes (53.2 percent) for 1,963 yards, sixteen touchdowns and nine interceptions. He carried 96 times for 664 yards (6.9 avg) and three scores. Ball security was an issue as McNeal fumbled seven times, but he also recorded a pair of solo tackles.
In 42 games, McNeal started 34 times for the Aggies. He hit on 478 of 875 passes (54.6 percent) for 6,992 yards, 44 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He joined Ed Hargett (5379, 1966-68), Kevin Murray (6506, 1983-86) and Corey Pullig (6846, 1992-95) as the only players in school history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a career. He amassed 1,889 yards with 15 touchdowns on 411 carries (4.6 avg). Only Bucky Richardson (2095, 1987-89, 91) gained more yards rushing during a career by an A&M quarterback. His 8,881 yards in total offense set a school career-record, topping the old mark of 6,888 yards by Pullig.
Positives: Has a well-defined frame with room for additional growth with no loss in quickness Has outstanding foot speed, doing an excellent job of scrambling to avoid the pass rush Blessed with exceptional arm strength and while he stands tall in the pocket, he appears to be much better throwing on the move than by stepping up Has a very quick release with an over-the-top arm motion and follow-through Puts excellent zip on his deep tosses, doing a good job of placing the ball along the outside shoulder of his receivers Has a good feel for pocket pressure, displaying the balance and burst to slip past and avoid the initial tackler Has that second gear needed to separate and win the foot races running down the sidelines Looks confident standing up in the pocket and no longer looks to run at the first sign of pressure Relies on his arm strength to make things happen on deep routes, but is developing the field vision to locate his secondary targets in progression Has that make-you-miss speed and agility rolling out of the pocket and the hip flexibility to get very good rotation when throwing on rollouts Has very good peripheral vision and uses it to step in and out to avoid backside pressure Has become an assertive leader on the field, keeping his cool and thriving when the game is on the line Shows the ability to deliver the ball efficiently and adjust his release, depending on the pass situation Very effective throwing off the sprint or rollout action.
Negatives: Regressed a bit in 2005, as he is still learning the game and is only adequate in reading defenses Will sometimes force his throws, especially when he locks on to his primary target Had a wind-up in his release earlier in his career, but now stands tall in the pocket to put zip on his throws Relies too much on his arm strength to fire the ball through the defense, rather than time and feather his tosses (can be late getting the ball out when he hesitates timing his pass) Better throwing on the move, where he feels more comfortable scanning the field rather than having to step up in the pocket Needs to add more bulk to his frame Has had several right shoulder injuries that need further medical review to properly evaluate Was developing his skills as a touch passer prior to 2005, but failed to improve his diagnosis skills and must develop a better understanding for the defensive coverages Made steady improvement in changing the speed on his short tosses in 2004, showing better timing and consistency, but because of protection breakdowns during his senior year, he reverted to forcing the ball into traffic, causing his receivers to spend too much time adjusting out of their breaks in order to get to the ball.
McNeal has outstanding athletic ability; so much so that some pro teams might even consider playing him as a halfback if he fails to make it as a quarterback. He is still a work in progress as a passer, but has one of the strongest arms in the game of football. He showed continued progress with each passing game until the 2005 season, but shows the ability to quickly learn from his mistakes.
He is a high-energy type that needs to be accounted for every second he is on the field. McNeal stands tall in the pocket and has the strength to absorb punishment from the pass rush. However, he also has the scrambling ability and touch to be quite effective throwing on the move. He is quick to set up and has an over-the-top release that gets his passes to receivers in stride. He has a quick delivery and has now learned how to vary the speed on his tosses; doing a nice job of feathering the ball over the outside shoulder of his target on deep routes or putting zip on the ball to fire underneath.
The three-year starter has total command in the huddle. He will throw across the body with a good completion rate. McNeal has a quick release, but struggled some to hit his receivers in stride as a senior. He will improvise on his throws to make the completion and seems more comfortable throwing on the move. Still, he can step up in the pocket and is a solid touch passer who does not panic under duress.
McNeal puts good zip behind his throws, especially showing improvement on underneath routes in 2004 compared to previous years. He is still learning how to read defenses under fire and will sometimes make his receivers work on deep routes, but few passers can hit their targets on the move with the velocity he displays. He needs to look off the defender and use all of his targets on the field better than he demonstrated during his senior year, though. McNeal will still eye his primary target too long. Rather than scanning the field and finding his secondary receivers, he tended to force the ball as a senior, like he did earlier in his career, and the result was nine interceptions on ill-advised passes.
With maturity, McNeal has learned how to buy time in the pocket so his receivers can get open. When all else fails, he is a dangerous weapon to tuck the ball and run with it, generally making the first tackler miss. When he breaks open up field, he will usually win the foot race. He needs to do a better job of securing the ball before running up field, as he has had several costly fumbles (25 fumbles in 42 games).
While his feet can carry the team to a few wins, he needs to become more confident in his arm strength. He has shown the ability to throw on the move, even when he cannot set his feet before unleashing the ball. By learning how to throw the ball away or take the sack, he reduced his interception total to only four during the 2004 season, but because of porous protection up front, he forced the ball quite a bit in 2005 and the result was nine interceptions and 34 deflected passes.
McNeal needs to stop forcing passes and must spend a little less time trying to connect with his primary receiver and making better progression reads. While Michael Vick gets most of his attention due to his athletic ability, McNeal is more polished as a passer. He needs to add some bulk, but has the frame to do so without losing any quickness. If he can improve upon his reads and not force the ball into a crowd, he could be a productive pro quarterback. If not, his athletic ability and explosive quickness could see him move to halfback or receiver at the next level.
Holds the school and Big Twelve Conference records with an interception-free streak of 205 pass attempts in a season (2004) and 213 consecutive passes (2003-04), breaking the old records of 177 passes by A&M quarterback Edd Hargett over a five-game span in 1968 and the previous conference mark of 179 by Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury in 2002 In 42 games with the Aggies, McNeal threw for 6,992 yards, breaking the old school career-record of 6,846 yards by Corey Pullig (1992-95) His 1,889 yards rushing are surpassed only by Bucky Richardson (2095, 1987-89, 91) among Aggie quarterbacks His 8,881 yards in total offense shattered the old school record of 6,888 yards by Pullig Is the only player in A&M annals to throw for over 300 yards in a game six times in a season (2004) His 478 pass completions rank third on the school's career-record list behind Pullig (533) and Kevin Murray (534, 1983-86) His 610 pass attempts rank third in A&M annals, topped only by Murray (926) and Pullig (945) His 44 touchdown tosses are good for fifth all-time in Aggies history behind Pullig (47) and Murray (48) Fell 111 yards shy rushing and 8 yards passing to become only the fourth player in NCAA Division 1-A annals to throw for over 7,000 yards and run for over 2,000 yards in a career Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione commented recently about McNeal, saying, "If I was ordering a quarterback out of a catalog, I would order McNeal. Some of his best plays are ones that aren't called. Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to our opponent's defense -- and maybe one of the best things that can happen to us -- is we have a pass called and, they're all dropping into coverage and they're doing a heck of a job of covering and McNeal pulls it down and starts running it." Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney said, "No one in this conference (Big Twelve) scares a coach and his team more than Reggie McNeal." In 2005, McNeal not only became the first player in school history to amass 400 yards in total offense in three games during a career, but did it all in the same season.
An All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference first-team preseason selection, McNeal was also a member of the Maxwell, Walter Camp (nation's top player) and Davey O'Brien (best quarterback in the nation) Award Watch Lists Rated the best athlete in college football at the quarterback position by The Poor Man's Guide to the NFL Draft Started the team's first ten games, but the offense struggled due to poor protection afforded the quarterback by a mediocre offensive line Was sacked eleven times for losses of 67 yards, threw nine interceptions, had 34 other passes deflected and fumbled seven times
Managed to complete141 of 265 passes (53.2 percent) for 1,963 yards and sixteen touchdowns Ranked second on the team with 664 yards on 96 carries (6.9 avg) and three scores Just missed on becoming the first Aggie to lead the team in both passing and rushing in the same season since Roddy Osborne accomplished that feat in 1956 His yards-per-carry average of 6.9 yards led the NCAA Division 1-A quarterbacks in 2005 In the ten games that McNeal started, the offense generated 216 first downs, with McNeal amassing 89 on passing plays and 34 more rushing Converted ten third-down plays into first downs among his 96 carries Had 21 pass completions for 20 yards or longer and 13 carries for 20 yards or longer Ran for over 100 yards in four contests.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Clemson Opened the season with 100 yards on nine carries and 110 yards on 8 of 16 passes with a touchdown and an interception as the team gained 358 yards McNeal led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that ended with his 31-yard pass to Chad Schroeder for a 24-22 lead.
Southern Methodist Set a school game-record with 449 total yards, throwing for 349 yards and five touchdowns on 15 of 24 passes and running for 100 on six carries with a score in just three quarters to lead Texas A&M to a 66-8 win over SMU Became the 16th player in NCAA Division 1-A history to throw for over 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game (other notables were Archie Manning of Mississippi vs. Alabama in 1969 ? 104 rushing, 436 passing; and Steve Young of Brigham Young vs. Baylor in 1983 ? 113 rushing, 351 passing) The only other Big Twelve quarterback to accomplish that feat was Michael Bishop of Kansas State vs. Nebraska in 1998 (140 rushing, 306 passing) His 449 yards in total offense broke A&M's 37-year old record of 418 set by Edd Hargett vs. Southern Methodist in 1968 His 349 yards passing marked the first time that McNeal threw for over 300 yards in a game for A&M and rank sixth on the school's game-record list His five touchdown passes rank third on A&M's game-record list behind Gary Kubiak (six vs. Rice in 1981) and Dustin Long (seven vs. Texas Tech in 2002) Opened the game's
Scoring with a career-long 63-yard touchdown run Added 15 & 32-yard scoring strikes to Chad Schroeder, an 80-yard touchdown toss to Earvin Taylor, and 47 & 68-yard scoring passes to Jason Carter Asked by reporters after the game about his approach to this contest, McNeal replied, "I didn't approach it any differently. I did the same thing I do every week. I go out, have a good week of practice, watch film, and do my same things during game day. The team didn't approach it any differently. The game we played against Clemson, we said it was all about us, and we said the same thing this week."
(on the offense's play at halftime) "We were moving the ball but we had too many mistakes. We were sluggish. We corrected everything at halftime and came out and played like something in the second half." For his performance vs. the Mustangs, McNeal was named National Player of the Week honors by the Walter Camp Foundation and selected Big Twelve Player of the Week He was also voted Cingular Wireless/ABC Sport All-America Player of the Week by garnering 51 percent of the fan vote in the national contest.
Texas State McNeal threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns on 13 of 24 chances and rushed 11 times for 86 yards to finish the day with 403 yards as A&M beat Texas State 44-31 in a stadium rendered unusually bare and an area choked with evacuating traffic as Hurricane Rita crept closer It was McNeal's second-straight 300-yard effort. No other Aggie quarterback has posted consecutive 300-yard passing games McNeal came up just 14 rushing yards short of his second straight 300 passing yards/100 rushing yards game, which has never been accomplished in NCAA Division I-A history The Aggies produced a 300-yard passer, 200-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game for the first time in school history. The A&M trio of McNeal (317 passing), Jason Carter (219 receiving) and Courtney Lewis (126 rushing) accomplished the feat Along with his 449 yards the previous week vs. Southern Methodist, this game was most prolific two-game total ever by an A&M QB in regard to total offense (852 yards) By generating over 400 yards of total offense in consecutive games (SMU, Texas State), it was another feat that had never been accomplished before in A&M annals His scoring strikes covered 71 yards to Jason Carter and 44 yards to Chad Schroeder (had six pass completions and two rushing attempts for over 20 yards) as the offense generated 714 yards.
Baylor McNeal was off for most of the day, finishing 12-of-31 for 132 yards with two first-half interceptions He often overthrew receivers and looked frustrated most of the day, but McNeal led the offense when the Aggies needed it most. McNeal ran for a first down on fourth-and-1 in the team's game-tying drive and eight plays later found Chad Schroeder, who made a juggling catch for a 13-yard gain on fourth-and-7 with 2:27 remaining, as the team would go on to a 16-13 overtime victory Led the Aggies on a 17-play, 86-yard drive to set up a game-tying field goal that sent A&M-Baylor contest into overtime. McNeal and the Aggies converted a pair of fourth down situations on the drive and McNeal's 39-yard run was the biggest gain of the drive.
Colorado Followed with 10 of 21 tosses for 146 yards, but fumbled once and was sacked twice while being held to minus 14 yards on five carries On their second play from scrimmage, McNeal connected with DeQawn Mobley, who slipped behind Buffs cornerback Lorenzo Sims. Mobley made the catch and looked like he'd score. Instead, he fumbled and the Buffs recovered. The turnover went down as a 60-yard gain, which helped make A&M's rough night on offense look a little better on the stats page McNeal, the multiple-threat quarterback the Buffs stressed about all week, didn't get the Aggies into the end zone A&M's two touchdowns were purely cosmetic, both coming late with the second-and-third-teamers on the field.
Oklahoma State Threw three touchdowns and ran for another score as A&M rebounded by routing Oklahoma State, 62-23 Hit on 18 of 26 passes (69.0 percent) for 263 yards and an interception and rushed for a career-high 150 yards on 12 attempts, finishing with 413 yards in total offense Along with his 449 yards vs. Southern Methodist and 403 yards vs. Texas State, it marked the first time an Aggie totaled 400 yards in a game three times in a season (also three times in a career Prior to this year, there had been only two 400-yard games in school history (418 by Ed Hargett vs. SMU in 1968 and Dustin Long's 407 vs. Kansas in 2002) Lufkin High School products McNeal and Jorvorskie Lane became the first players from the same high school to rush for 100 yards in the same game in school history McNeal's last run was a 34-yard scramble he punctuated by diving over the end zone pylon and losing his helmet while tumbling out of bounds. McNeal was ruled out at the 3, but the run brought the A&M crowd to its feet The Aggie QB started the scoring with a 4-yard run in the second quarter, adding touchdown tosses of 7 yards to Chris Alexander, 14 yards to Boone Stutz and 36 yards to Brandon Leone.
Kansas State Ran for 119 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and threw for a score while completing 15 of 31 passes for 136 yards as A&M held on for a 30-28 victory over Kansas State McNeal did have one interception and fumbled twice while losing 16 yards on a pair of sacks McNeal ran 26 yards for a touchdown on A&M's first official snap He put the Aggies up 23-8 with a 5-yard pass to Chad Schroeder late in the third quarter, before Kansas State mounted a comeback that ultimately fell short. McNeal had runs of 32 and 19 yards on A&M's answering drive, capped by Jorvorskie Lane's second touchdown run The duo of McNeal and Lane, both from Lufkin High School, combined to gash the KSU defense for 217 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries.
Iowa State Completed 23 of 39 throws for 221 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off twice and fumbled once McNeal moved past Kevin Murray (1983-86) to second on the Aggies' all-time career passing yards chart with 6,703 yards. He also moved ahead of Mark Farris (1999-2002) to third on A&M's career completions list with 451 and fourth on the career attempts chart with 791. McNeal also increased his school record for career total offense to 8,568 yards His 39 pass attempts were a career high and his 23 completions tied his career high (vs. both Colorado and Tennessee in 2004).
Texas Tech Hit on 15 of 24 passes (62.5 percent), but could only produce 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception His scoring strike came with the game well out of reach in the fourth quarter, as McNeal lobbed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Martel Bennett in a 56-17 loss.
Oklahoma Threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 12 of 29 attempts to set the A&M record for career yards passing before leaving in the third quarter with a left ankle injury Finished with 6,992 yards passing, breaking Corey Pullig's mark of 6,846 yards set from 1992-95 McNeal was just 8 yards shy passing in his quest to become the fourth player in Division I history with 2,000 yards rushing and 7,000 yards passing in his career McNeal
had to be helped off the field after being sacked for a safety in the third quarter. "I didn't see what happened, but I felt my left ankle fold up and I couldn't walk on it," McNeal said. McNeal said he thought the ankle was sprained, but Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione said it would be a season-ending injury. "I'm a warrior, but I'll leave it up to the trainers," McNeal said. "Hopefully, I'll be ready for Texas." McNeal's 5-yard touchdown pass to Courtney Lewis cut the deficit to 28-17, but Calvin Thibodeaux sacked McNeal in the end zone for an Oklahoma safety, knocking McNeal out of the game with 8:14 left in the third quarter.
Texas Sat out the season finale due to his ankle injury.
All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report and the Dallas Morning News, earning second-team honors from the Associated Press, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Waco Tribune-Herald, San Antonio Express-News, Kansas City Star and the league's coaches Davey OBrien Award Semifinalist Named SBC Big Twelve Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week vs. Oklahoma State Member of the 2004-05 Leadership Council Started every game, despite undergoing thumb surgery after the season opener and being bothered late in the year by a right shoulder sprain that he suffered vs. Oklahoma Led an offense that ranked second in the conference in passing with an average of 261.17 yards per game Ranked 26th in the nation with a 137.40 passing efficiency rating and seventh in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks with an average of 292.42 yards per game in total offense Started every game, completing 200 of 344 passes (58.1 percent) for 2,791 yards, 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions His 2791 yards broke the old school single-season record of 2,551 by Mark Farris in 2000 Only Kevin Murray (212 in 1987) and Farris (208 in 2000 and 203 in 2001) had more pass completions in a season for the Aggies His 14 scoring tosses rank sixth on the school's single-season record list Set an A&M annual record for quarterbacks with 718 yards on 151 carries (4.8 avg) with eight touchdowns, topping the old mark of 670 yards by Bucky Richardson in 1990 Gained 3,509 yards in total offense, shattering the old school record of 2,667 yards by Farris in 2000 Threw for over 300 yards in six games, an A&M single-season record Of the team's 241 first downs, McNeal accounted for 164 of them (121 passing, 43 rushing) Converted 49 third-down plays and was sacked 23 times for losses of 140 yards Fumbled eight times, losing two to the opponent while recovering two others Also recorded a solo tackle.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Utah Scrambled and passed his way to 294 yards of total offense Despite suffering a left thumb injury that would require surgery after the game, McNeal connected on 14 of 35 passes for 210 yards He added 84 yards on 13 carries with touchdowns of 59 & 8 yards He accounted for 15 of the team's 17 first downs and converted three third-down plats, but was also sacked twice for losses of 22 yards.
Wyoming McNeal, who had minor surgery on his left (non-throwing) thumb last week, showed little problem moving the Aggies He completed 17 of 24 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 44 yards with a score on eleven attempts He was sacked once for minus 12 yards, but converted six of 15 third-down plays and accounted for nine first downs McNeal scored the game's first touchdown on a third-and-11 from the 22, scampering untouched down the center of the field after dropping back to pass for a 22-yard run He also hooked up with Kerry Franks, the only true freshman to play for A&M this year, on a long pass midway through the fourth quarter, as Franks shook off a tackle at about the 20 and scored his first college touchdown from 84 yards out His 342 total offensive yards rank 11th in school history .His 84-yard scoring pass to Franks tied for the sixth longest completion in A&M annals and was the longest since McNeal tossed a 91-yarder to Jamaar Taylor in 2003 vs. Baylor Asked by reporters after the game about his thumb injury, McNeal stated, "Today, it went fine. I went through all that week in practice?just try to get it done. I just knew I was going to have to come out and be more focused because of that (injury)".
Clemson Led the team to a 27-6 victory by gaining 307 yards Hit on 14 of 26 throws for 178 yards and rushed 17 times for 129 yards Joined tailback Courtney Lewis (165 yards) to become the first Aggies to rush for 100 yards in the same game since Lewis and Derek Farmer did it vs. Baylor in 2003 The last time a QB and RB did it was 1991 when Greg Hill rushed for 109 and Bucky Richardson had 128 vs. Rice McNeal and Lewis combined for 294 rushing yards, the most by an A&M tandem since Greg Hill (141) and Rodney Thomas (179) combined for 320 yards vs. Texas Tech in 1992 It's the sixth most combined yards by a pair of Aggies in a game in school history For a QB/RB combination, it ranks third on the school chart. Richardson (180) and Darren Lewis (207) combined for 387 yards vs. SMU in 1990 and George Woodard (185) and Mike Mosley (180) combined for 365 yards vs. Southern California in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl With 129 yards on 17 carries, McNeal became the first A&M quarterback to rush for 100 or more yards in a game since Bucky Richardson rushed for 128 on 18 carries vs. Rice in 1991 He generated 307 yards of total offense (178 pass/129 rush), marking only the second time in school history a player has gained at least 300 yards in consecutive games. The other player to do it was Bucky Richardson vs. Rice (359) and TCU (348) in 1991 (both games were on the road) McNeal is the first player to gain 300 or mare yards in consecutive games at Kyle Field It was the third 300-yard total offense game in McNeal's career, tying the school record shared by Randy McCown (1996-99), Mark Farris (1999-02) and Dustin Long (2002-03) Speaking after the game about the 99-yard drive that he engineered, McNeal said, "We started pounding on them and we could tell they were getting worn down so we just continued to execute our offense and just played together. When backed up at the 1 in the third, I just got to stay calm. You can't get over excited with yourself just because you're throwing the ball, but Coach Fran's got a lot of faith and confidence in us. Hold up, get the ball out on the perimeter to our receivers."
Kansas State Despite gaining only 213 yards, McNeal converted three of eight third-down plays in a 42-30 triumph Connected on 7 of 12 passes for 129 yards and a score Added another touchdown and 84 yards on only six carries Sprinted 62 yards through the middle of the field for the capping touchdown, producing a final score that was a better indication of how the Aggies controlled the game Also had a nice 29-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Murphy for the first score and a 43-yarder that hit Murphy in the chest to set up the third touchdown His late 62-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career His previous long run was 59 yards earlier this season at Utah.
Iowa State Accounted for 222 yards and three touchdowns on 16 of 27 pass attempts and ran eight times for 15 yards and another score Converted nine of 15 third-down plays and produced 16 of the team's 20 first downs McNeal gave Iowa State fits all night with his accurate throwing and nimble feet He scrambled out of trouble on several occasions and had touchdown passes of 18 yards to Tydrick Riley, 13 yards to Joey Thomas and 12 yards to Courtney Lewis His most impressive footwork came early in a 13-play, 96-yard scoring drive that gave the Aggies a 20-3 halftime lead. On second-and-21 from his own 4, McNeal danced away from three Iowa State defenders who had a shot at him in the end zone and completed a 23-yard pass to Jason Carter. McNeal went on to complete seven straight passes in taking A&M to the Iowa State 22. Courtney Lewis then sprinted 20 yards up the middle before McNeal slipped untouched into the end zone from the 2 McNeal gave Iowa State's defenders an indication of what they'd be facing on the game's first play. He started to his right on a keeper, saw three ISU players blocking his path, reversed field and ran 19 yards around left end On the 2 and 21 play at A&M's end zone, McNeal said, "I felt pressure from the middle and I was just trying to make a play. I was trying to run but the corner was right there. I just looked up and Carter was wide open. All of our receivers make plays. You can't focus on one or two players with this offense, as all of our guys are capable of making the big play. ISU has been good all season vs. the run and we knew we had to throw the ball today if we were going to win the game. The defense gave us some cushion and we just tried to pick our spots."
Oklahoma State Threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to help the Aggies to a 36-20 Completed 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns Added 98 yards and two scores on 14 rushing attempts The Aggies bolted out to a 20-0 lead as Oklahoma State made uncharacteristic mistakes with a string of early penalties and turnovers, as McNeal slipped threw three defenders for a 24-yard first quarter touch-down run Added a 3-yard scoring scamper at the start of the second quarter and had a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Murphy on the Aggies' first possession of the second half and a 52-yard connection between the two set up a 25-yard field goal by Todd Pegram that made it 36-6 midway through the third quarter It appeared the Aggies would take a two-touchdown lead into halftime as they ran on three straight plays with time running out, but Taylor Schuster picked up a third-down fumble by McNeal and advanced it for a first down to put A&M within striking distance McNeal launched the high-arcing pass and Murphy leaped inside the 5 to tip the ball to Mobley, who dove to catch it in the end zone
His 386 yards of total offense ranks third in school history, topped only by Edd Hargett's 418 yards vs. Southern Methodist in 1968 and 407 yards by Dustin Long vs. Kansas in 2002 It was the fourth 300-yard plus total offense output of the season for McNeal, which is a school record, and the fifth of his career, which is a school record His nine first-half completions were distributed to eight different receivers (six wide receivers, one tight end and one running back) For the game, 10 different receivers posted catches vs. the Cowboys Coach Dennis Franchione said after the game, "We felt like, with McNeal and our other skill guys that the spread offense was something that would be good for us. It has been good for us this year. I think we used it a little bit more tonight. I felt like we would need to mix it up and keep them off balance and we did that. McNeal has worked extremely hard. He came back in January with a much more mature, positive outlook on things."
Colorado Led the team to a 29-26 overtime victory, gaining 382 yards while hitting on 23 of 38 passes for 243 yards and picking up 139 yards on 22 runs Accounted for 20 of the team's 25 first downs, but was sacked once and fumbled twice (one turnover) The junior quarterback also set a Big Twelve record with 195 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. That streak breaks Kliff Kingsbury's mark of 179 in 2002 for Texas Tech As a team, A&M has attempted 220 passes without a pickoff, also a school record He set career highs for pass completions and attempts McNeal finished the game with 3,806 yards in career passing and 1,100 yards rushing, making him the first player in school history to pass for at least 3,500 yards with 1,000 yards rushing Late in the fourth quarter, McNeal put together a 63-yard drive that set up Todd Pegram's 20-yard field goal as regulation time expired to put the game into overtime at 26-26. McNeal started off with a 14-yard run and then hit Jason Carter with an 11-yard pass. He then threw a 29-yard first down pass to Carter and ran for a 7-yard gain two plays later to put the ball in Pegram's care In overtime, he threw a 7-yard first down pass to Terrence Murphy, but on the next play, McNeal fumbled the ball at the goal line that he quickly recovered at the CU 2. Pegram then stepped on the field to kick a game-winning 19-yard field goal in a 29-26 triumph After the game, Dennis Franchione commented on McNeal's performance) "I thought McNeal didn't have his best game today but gosh he made a lot of plays today and had great poise and patience in the pocket and moving around and finding people and running with it. I mean, just a weapon that is really good to have on my side."
Baylor Gained over 300 yards in total offense for the third-straight week, amassing 311 yards as McNeal completed 20 of 31 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns He also rushed 12 times for 43 yards However, A&M's conference record interception-free streak of pass attempts ended when McNeal's 19th attempt of the night was picked off by Baylor's Braelon Davis He became the sixth member of A&M's 5,000-yard club in total offense, finishing the Baylor contest with 5,217 to date He was sacked four times for losses of 29 yards and also turned the ball over on a fumble McNeal converted eight of 16 third-down plays and accounted for 14 of the team's 24 first downs He had touchdown passes of 6 yards to Boone Stutz and 49 yards to Chad Schroeder.
Oklahoma McNeal was forced to leave the game in the third quarter when he injured his right shoulder after being sacked for a 2-yard loss by defensive end Dan Cody He gained 213 yards on 11 of 24 passes with two scores and also ran for a touchdown But, he was sacked four times for minus 17 yards He opened the game with an 18-yard scoring strike to Terrence Murphy and then ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the next first quarter drive He then began the second quarter with a 45-yard touchdown toss to Chad Schroeder.
Texas Tech Bounced back with 309 yards in total offense, completing 16 of 26 passes for 254 yards and a score Rushed 13 times for 55 yards and accounted for 14 of the team's 21 first downs Also sacked once for a 6-yard loss His 55 yards on the ground gave him 693 for the season, most ever by an A&M quarterback The previous record was 670 yards by Bucky Richardson in 1990 His only touchdown pass in the 32-25 decision was a 48-yarder to Kerry Franks in the fourth quarter Asked on whether or not he was pumped for the game, McNeal replied, "Yeah, because it's Texas Tech, an in-state rival. I mean, you don't have to have somebody to get you pumped and ready to play a game like this, or you don't need to be playing. So, yeah, I was a little bit more into it emotionally. Usually I don't show a lot of emotions, but it was just an extra something in this game.
Texas Ran for 38 yards on 17 tries and hit on 20 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a score, but fumbled once and was sacked an incredible eight times for losses of 36 yards, including three sacks and an interception on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter Also fumbled once Found DeQawn Mobley with a 33-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter On a drive that began with 3:49 remaining in the game, McNeal threw a 23-yard pass down the right sideline to Tydrick Riley, but then, McNeal's protection completely broke down. He was sacked on three consecutive plays; first for a 1-yard loss by MLB Aaron Harris, then for 6 yards by OLB Derrick Johnson and then for 5 yards by Brian Robinson. He followed that trio of sacks by throwing a 4th-and-22 pass from the TA 40 that was intercepted by Tarell Brown at the UT 16.
Tennessee (Cotton Bowl) Collected 241 yards with a touchdown on 23 of 38 passes, but was held to 18 yards on nine rushing attempts in a 38-7 loss His only score was a 5-yarder to Earvin Taylor late in the fourth quarter Added a solo tackle after he was intercepted and was sacked once for a 10-yard loss Accounted for 14 of the team's 17 first downs.
Started the first eleven games while mostly sharing time with Dustin Long at quarter-back (McNeal would handle first and third quarter action in several games, with Long coming in for the second and fourth quarters. Later in the year, they would alternate on every series) Gained 1,782 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions on 113 of 211 passes (51.1 percent) Rushed 127 times for 370 yards (2.9 avg) and four scores Amassed 2,152 yards in total offense, the eighth-best season total in school history Accounted for 112 of the team's 233 first downs and converted 30 third-down plays Was sacked 21 times for losses of 158 yards Fumbled nine times, as the opposition recovered six of those miscues Bothered late in the season by a torn right rotator cuff that would require surgery in January 2004 Also underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia prior to fall camp Wore jersey #16 (would switch to #1 in 2004).
|2003 Game Analysis|
Arkansas State Would only gain 106 yards in total offense in the season opener McNeal connected on 7 of 13 passes for 82 yards and an interception He rushed nine times for 24 yards, but was sacked once for minus 9 yards and also fumbled once.
Utah Guided the team to a 28-26 decision, hitting on 12 of 18 throws for 145 yards and a 4-yard second quarter touchdown to Quinlin Germany Carried nine times for 3 yards, but fumbled twice, turning the ball over once.
Virginia Tech Followed with 47 yards on 12 runs and 133 yards on 11 of 21 passes with a touchdown and an interception Was sacked twice for losses of 20 yards His only touchdown came on a third quarter 15-yard pass to Tim Van Zant.
Pittsburgh Completed 12 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown, adding 52 yards on 11 runs for 267 yards in total offense Was sacked for a 2-yard loss and turned the ball over once on a fumble Accounted for ten of the team's 22 first downs Found Jamaar Taylor with an 18-yard scoring strike in the second quarter.
Texas Tech Amassed 264 yards, picking up 214 yards with a score on 11 of 24 throws and rushed 11 times for 50 yards Sacked twice for minus 12 yards Threw a second quarter 4-yard pass that Jamaar Taylor caught for a touchdown.
Baylor Named Big Twelve Player of the Week after guiding the Aggies to a 73-10 win McNeal completed only 9 of 14 passes, but had three scoring tosses and 199 yards while also rushing eight times for 61 yards and a pair of scores Was sacked once for a 3-yard loss, but registered 17 of the team's 32 first downs Started the game's scoring with a first quarter 6-yard touchdown toss to Andy Matakis Ran for a 2-yard score midway through the second quarter and closed out the first half with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jamaar Taylor Added a 1-yard scoring plunge and a 91-yard touchdown bomb to Taylor in the third quarter His 91-yarder was the fourth-longest pass completion in school history, topped only by Gary Kubiak's 92-yarder to Don Jones vs. Louisiana Tech in 12981, a 93-yard toss from Mark Farris to Robert Ferguson vs. Wyoming in 2000 and Randy McCown's 96-yard pass to Chris Taylor vs. Tulsa in 1999.
Nebraska Was benched briefly in the second quarter and then pulled from the game late in the third quarter after he was intercepted three times and turned the ball over twice on fumbles McNeal was also sacked once for a 9-yard loss Completed 7 of 19 passes for 73 yards and carried 13 times for 69 yards.
Oklahoma State Produced 183 yards with an interception on 13 of 27 throws, but was sacked five times, finishing with minus 34 yards on seven carries Also fumbled once.
Kansas Bounced back with a season-high 330 yards in total offense in a 45-33 win Had 11 of 18 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown Gained 71 yards with a score on 12 rushing attempts Ran for a 4-yard touchdown in the second quarter and found Tim Van Zant with a 28-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma Was completely shut down in a 77-0 loss Gained only 14 yards of total offense, connecting on 4 of 13 passes for 32 yards and was held to minus 18 yards on eleven carries Was also sacked three times for losses of 32 yards.
Missouri It was obvious that his shoulder injury was affecting his play, as McNeal would manage only 78 yards on 6 of 12 passes and 45 yards on 15 carries He was sacked twice for minus 19 yards and turned the ball over on a fumble.
Texas Came off the bench in the season finale to run 9 times for 20 yards and complete 10 of 20 passes for 165 yards However, he threw one interception, turned the ball over on a fumble and was sacked four times for losses of 21 yards.
Played in eight games, starting one contest as a true freshman Finished with 24 of 45 passes (53.3 percent) for 456 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions Added 137 yards on 37 carries (3.7 avg).
|2002 Game Analysis|
Louisiana-Lafayette Made his collegiate debut with 28 yards while completing both pass attempts and 12 yards on two carries.
Louisiana Tech Hit on 2 of 4 throws for 33 yards and ran once for 6 yards.
Baylor Rushed three times for 25 yards and threw for 88 yards on 5 of 6 tries, including touchdowns of 59 yards to Bethel Johnson and 5 yards to Tydrick Riley in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma Knocked the then top-ranked Sooners out of the national title hunt when McNeal came off the bench to guide the team to a 30-26 upset win It was the first-ever victory by an Aggies team over a top-ranked opponent Connected on 8 of 13 passes for 191 yards, four touchdowns and an interception Also carried 16 times for 89 yards, amassing 280 yards in total offense Had second quarter scoring strikes of 61 yards to Terrence Murphy and 40 yards to Greg Porter Added a third quarter 17-yard touchdown pass to Bethel Johnson and a fourth quarter 40-yard scoring toss to Murphy Earned National Offensive Player of the Week honors for that performance.
Missouri Earned his first career start the following week, gaining 80 yards on 4 of 6 passes in the first quarter, but then missed the majority of the Missouri game when he suffered a high ankle sprain That injury would force him to watch the season finale vs. Texas game from the sidelines in street clothes.
2001: Bothered by an ankle sprain most of his high school senior year.
2002: Suffered a high ankle sprain vs. Missouri, sitting out the Texas clash (11/29).
2003: Underwent surgery during the summer to repair a sports hernia Bothered late in the season by a right shoulder sprain, undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff after the season (1/04).
2004: Underwent surgery after the Utah game (9/02) to repair a left thumb sprain, but was back on the field the following game Suffered a right shoulder contusion that forced him to leave the Oklahoma contest in the third quarter (11/06).
2005: Suffered a minor right shoulder bruise (not related to his previous injuries) during spring camp (4/01) and did not play in the annual spring game Suffered a left ankle sprain with 8:38 left in the third quarter of the Oklahoma contest (11/12) and had to be helped off the field, missing the rest of that contest and the season finale vs. Texas.
Campus: 4.32 in the 40-yard dash 340-pound bench press 565-pound squat 302-pound power clean 35-inch vertical jump 31 -inch arm length 9 -inch hands Right-handed 19/34 Wonderlic score.
Combine: 4.35 seconds in 40-yard dash (best among quarterbacks who ran at the Combine). 32-inch vertical jump. 10'1" broad jump.
Attended Lufkin (Tex.) High School, playing football for coach John Outlaw Named Super Prep Offensive Player of the Year as a senior Rated the third-best quarterback prospect in the nation and earned All-America honors from that recruiting service Added Parade All-American, East Texas Player of the Year, second-team All-State (by the Texas Sports Writers Association), first-team Super Team selection (by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine) and District MVP honors Also named one of six finalists for the National High School Player of the Year Award Led his Lufkin team to a 15-1 record and the Class 5A Division II state championship (38-24 win over Austin Westlake) Rushed for 159 yards and threw for 223 yards in the state title game and brought his team back from a 21-3 deficit despite injuring an ankle As a senior, McNeal completed 134 of 307 passes for 2,385 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 856 yards on 165 carries and 10 touchdowns to combine for 3,241 total yards and 34 touchdowns in the 2001 season Also played defensive back in critical stages of games, making an interception and returning it for a touchdown to clinch a playoff victory vs. Killeen High As a senior, he intercepted seven passes on defense As a junior, McNeal threw for 2,150 yards, completing 115 of 230 attempts and 25 touchdowns to earn second-team All-State and District MVP honors Also rushed for ten touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he passed for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns while earning Sophomore of the Year honors Excelled in basketball, baseball and track Earned All-District honorable mention on the basketball court and was the district champion in the 100-and 200-meter dashes as a junior Finished third in the 100 at the state track meet Four-year member of the All-Academic Excellence team and also a member of the student council and the President's Roundtable.
Agricultural Development major Son of Regina and Rickey McNeal Born Reginald P. McNeal on 9/20/83 in Lufkin, Texas.