Beat South Carolina? Check.
Beat Lamar? Check.
Texas A&M dominated in its first two games of the season. But, just how good are they? Finally, the Aggies get an opponent from 2013 and an opportunity for a year over year comparison. Last year, Rice put up 31 points, 509 total yards, and over 300 yards rushing. The Aggies were beat in nearly every statistical category except the one that actually matters, the scoreboard. The defense was both very young and facing a number of suspensions. However, that porous showing foreshadowed the letdown season that followed. The Aggies with national title aspirations slugged through an 8-4 season and only beat a top 25 team in their bowl game against Duke.
This year, the offense is clicking and the defense has shown major signs of improvement. The front seven have not yet allowed a single rushing touchdown or run over 20 yards. In their home opener against Rice last season, the Aggies allowed three runs over 20 yards along with 2 rushing touchdowns. Should A&M show major signs of improvement in this year’s grudge match, some new foreshadowing might be in order.
Preview of the game:
The #9 Aggies kick-off Saturday against Rice University at 8:00PM CT on ESPN2.
Preview of Rice:
Rice broke in a brand new quarterback, Driphus Jackson, against Notre Dame in their season opener. He put in a decent showing with 13/24 passing, 163 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He also led his team in rushing yards with 61 on 11 carries. He is a dual threat that can move the chains.
Rice returns 6 players from a defense that finished 4th in conference USA last year and led the team to a 10 win season. They are led by Nose Tackle Christian Covington who tallied 59 tackles with 11.5 for loss. A&M’s offensive line will have their hands full keeping him out of the backfield.
Preview of Texas A&M:
With Rice employing a press man coverage in the secondary, look for Kenny Hill to work on his deep ball this game. After struggling last week, this would have been an area of emphasis during practice this week. But with another blowout expected, he will have to take his shots in the first half. After that, it will be the Kyle Allen show once again.
Defensively, this unit should be going in with a serious grudge match. As noted above, they were embarrassed last season to the tune of 31 points, 509 total yards, and over 300 yards rushing. With a vastly improved defensive line, Coach Snyder will be able to apply pressure on Driphus Jackson, without sacrificing coverage. One underreported storyline revolves around backup linebacker Otara Alaka for A&M and backup wide receiver Temi Alaka at Rice. Could we see little brother line up across big brother in the 4th quarter?
Looking for a great spot to grab breakfast before tailgating or a day on Northgate? Look no further than La Bodega, which has arguably the best breakfast tacos in College Station. Also, their shakers are a must. Trust me. Located in the northern part of the Northgate district, this spot provides the perfect location to grab a bite to eat and then head on down to your favorite bar. Speaking of which….
Grab a beer right across the street at The Backyard, formerly known as Fitzwilly’s. They have a great setup with countless TV’s all set on college football, pool tables, and plenty of seating for Ags wanting to break out the dominos. And with a vast selection of beers on tap, you simply can’t go wrong.
Speedy Noil has his breakout game with 150 yards receiving, 250 all-purpose yards, and 3 touchdowns. And that’s just in 3 quarters of play once the backups take over. Trey Williams has a 60+ yard touchdown run that brings the broadcasters to compare him to Barry Sanders. The defense comes out with a vengeance holding Rice to less than 250 yards. Ags roll 63-10.