To categorize the Texas A&M Aggies‘ defense to start the 2013 season would be pretty basic; not quite up to par with most of the SEC, but definitely looks like a Big 12 defense after watching the team’s three games.
The Texas A&M defense has resembled countless Big 12 defenses over the last five seasons, with the inability to prevent marginal scores from taking place. First impressions are bad ones for this defense, as the Aggies rank 112th nationally in total defense, with 489 yards allowed per game, ranking very last in the SEC to begin their second season in the league.
Texas A&M allowed 568 total yards, 334 passing and 234 rushing Saturday after the Aggie defense had a 14 point lead, only to give Alabama a 28 point swing, going down 28-14 at halftime. Alabama outscored A&M 42-7 after those first two A&M touchdowns when the game went to the fourth quarter.
When it comes to sniffing out the run, A&M allowed 6.3 yards and a rush against Alabama, with a grand total of 546 yards the previous two weeks. In the first three games, the Aggies’ defense has allowed 200 or more rushing yards. Tackling in space and assignment football is a major red flag, with no real improvements being made at this time. After SMU this week, A&M’s next three opponents, all out of the West (Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn), all average past 200 yards a game. A&M is 115th in run defense, allowing 260 yards per game.
The holes left by defensive end Gavin Stansbury, linebacker Steven Jenkins, and cornerback De’Vante Harris in the team’s first two games was supposed to be the chief reason the Aggies couldn’t evolve into what they wanted to become as a championship caliber defense. However, that explanation quickly flew out the window on Saturday for second-year defensive coordinator Mark Snyder.
In the team’s first game, we saw how desperate Snyder would soon become, after allowing Rice to score 21 points and gain 332 yards in the first half. A&M nearly giving up 36 points and close to 489 yards of offense per game is a testament of how much problem solving it’ll take moving forward for this defensive staff.
If you’re the Aggies, it’s great and wonderful that Nick Saban‘s defense gave up 628 yards (the most ever allowed by Alabama), and 42 points last Saturday, but A&M is the best offense Alabama will face. A&M perhaps plays two of SEC’s hottest offenses, LSU and Ole Miss, and both might be turning up the heat in their home crowd against this lackluster defensive outfit.
How can any fan of A&M comprehend this team’s stats and not think about days in the Big 12? Normal SEC defenses don’t only sack the quarterback at an average of once per game and give up seven 20+ yard plays during a game, even if it is Alabama. Most fans should wage this question: how can A&M allow touchdown plays of 68 and 75 yards to the opponent prior to Alabama, Sam Houston State? I mean, the Aggies don’t have Oklahoma State, Baylor or Texas Tech on their schedule, right?