Defense Fails to Protect Kyle Field

First the Aggies win on the road against a top 5 team, and then they lose at home to an unranked team. It’s hard to recall a bigger rollercoaster of a season. The Aggies dropped their 4th loss on Saturday and are now winless in conference play at home. This continues the trend of Sumlin failing to protect Kyle Field where he is 4-6 against conference opponents since taking over as head coach.

Prior to the game starting, the Aggies received just about the worst possible news. Myles Garrett, our one man wrecking ball, would not play due to a concussion injury from the Auburn game. In addition, Ivan Robinson was also out leaving the Aggies down two starters on the defensive line. Midway through the game, the Aggies lost two more starters from injury when Otaro Alaka and Josh Walker went down.

This left the Aggies with four backups starting the 3rd quarter, but they were backups that we are all too familiar with. Daeshon Hall manned the RUSH position in place of Myles Garrett. The Jay Arnold/Hardreck Walker combo filled in for Ivan Robinson. And the two linebacker positions were filled by players that started the first 8 games of the season; Jordan Mastrogiovanni and Justin Bass. Yes, the Aggies were down a few starters, but there was no reason suspect the third quarter onslaught that was about to unfold.

Missouri received the kickoff to start the second half and marched right down the field in an 8 play, 77 yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 13. The Aggies responded with a touchdown drive of their own to retake the lead, but then everything came undone. The Tigers drove the field once again to tie the game up at 20. Then they capitalized on two consecutive 3-and-outs by the Aggie offense with two additional touchdown drives. When the dust had settled, the same Missouri offense that had averaged just 250.2 yards and 21.4 points per game in conference play exploded for 28 points and 312 yards – just in the 3rd quarter. The final box score was even worse.

Below is the 2014 Missouri offense in conference play. Which one of these is not like the other?

South Carolina: 280 yards, 21 points
Georgia: 147 yards, 0 points
Florida: 119, 42 points (Only 13 points from offense)
Vanderbilt: 385, 24 points
Kentucky: 320, 20 points
Texas A&M: 587, 34 points

The 2014 Aggie defense has had a common theme throughout the season. We help make darn near every quarterback we play look like a Heisman contender. From Dak Prescott, to Bo Wallace, to Blake Sims, and now the horribly inefficient Maty Mauk; they all had arguably their best game of the season against this Aggie defense.

However, the Aggie offense was not without blame. Their inability to move the ball on two 3rd quarter 3-and-outs was devastating to a very thin and worn out defense. The running back rotation was baffling yet again. And the play calling on 3rd-and-1 and then 4th-and-1 on the final drive was suspect at best.

That being said, scoring 27 points (easily could have been 30 with a chip shot field goal at the end of the game) should be more than enough to beat that Missouri offense. As mentioned above, they came into the game averaging just 250.2 yards and 21.4 points in conference play. They left with 587 yards and 34 points at Kyle Field.

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