Dominating the Line of Scrimmage
On Saturday, the Aggies faced the daunting task of slowing down a very physical Arkansas running attack. And if history was any indication, it was going to be a struggle. Arkansas torched A&M to the tune of 285 yards (6.2 ypc) in 2014 and 232 yards (5.5 ypc) in 2015. Both games served as examples of A&M’s ‘soft defense’. But all that changed on Saturday.
Arkansas managed only 120 yards on 40 attempts (3.0 ypc) and one of their worst outputs in years. The Aggies front seven made goal-line stand after goal-line stand. In all, Arkansas ran a combined 11 plays inside the 10-yard line and were denied every single time.
The domination didn’t stop on the defensive side. The Aggies beat Arkansas at its own game running 63% of the time and racking up 366 yards and 9.9 yards per carry. In comparison, the Aggies rushed for over 300 yards more than their output at last year’s game.
Trayveon Williams was spectacular once again and earned SEC Freshman Player of the Week for the second straight time.
Trevor Knight got in on the fun with a couple long zone-read touchdown keepers. He ran for 2 touchdowns and threw for another two before the day was over.
This weekend, football fans will be treated to three top-10 matchups. The action kicks off on Friday with #10 Washington hosting #7 ranked Stanford. Then at 2:30pm on Saturday, #8 Wisconsin travels to Ann Arbor in hopes of knocking off #4 Michigan. Then at 7pm, #5 Clemson takes on Heisman front-runner Lamar Jackson and #3 Louisville.
Additionally, there are several other unbeaten teams that face tough challenges. 3-0 Miami plays at Georgia Tech. 4-0 Tennessee needs to beat 1-loss Georgia and not get caught looking ahead to A&M. And 3-0 Memphis is a 2-touchdown dog to Ole Miss.
At this point, there are 19 undefeated teams from power 5 conferences. The ACC has 4, the Big 12 has 2, the Big 10 has 6, the Pac 12 has 4, and the SEC has 3. At the very minimum, that number will be down to 16 teams following this weekend. Will this be the year that a single conference gets two teams into the playoffs? If so, the Big 10 is best positioned.
BTHO Coach Boom
The Aggies head to Williams-Brice stadium on Saturday as an 18 point favorite against South Carolina. Simply put, A&M is more talented and experienced at every single position than the gamecocks. There is no reason for this game to be close, yet there’s this one thing….Will Muschamp. Coach Boom. The thorn in A&M’s side.
Here’s a quick refresher on the long history of A&M losing to Muschamp as a defensive coordinator or head coach.
2008 – 49-9 loss to Texas (DC)
2009 – 49-39 loss to Texas (DC)
2010 – 24-17 win against Texas (DC)*
2012 – 20-17 loss to Florida (HC)
2015 – 26-10 loss to Auburn (DC)
Spanning 8 years, 5 games, 3 teams, and 2 conferences, the Aggies have lost to Muschamp 4 out of 5 times. And I asterisk 2010 because he was named head coach at Florida December 11, 2010 just 16 days after A&M’s win. Read into however you want, but it’s very possible he had a foot out the door by the time that game was played.
Needless to say, this is no game to overlook. A&M needs to take out 8 years of frustration on Coach Boom come Saturday. He’s the reason A&M missed the SEC championship game in 2012 and a likely national championship bid. He’s the guy who said after the game, “to be able to disappoint these people, it’s a lot of fun.”
Let’s return the favor Saturday. Let’s BTHO south carolina.