The November 23 match-up between the Texas A&M Aggies and the LSU Tigers has the potential to be an incredible offensive shootout, with absolutely no defense. Yesterday, we covered the LSU aspect of the game, how Zach Mettenberger, Jeremy Hill, and an explosive wide receiver duo have led a revamped offense. We also talked about how LSU losing the majority of their defense from last year has left them porous defensively. LSU however is not the main reason the game will be so high scoring. Today is all about the Aggies.
As expected, the Texas A&M offense has been completely unstoppable this season. The Aggies are currently ranked 6th in the nation in points scored, with 49.2 points a game. The reason this high total isn’t even more impressive, is because they don’t run up the score as much as other schools do. If they never let off the gas, it is hard to think they would not be averaging at least 60 points a game.
The Aggies have posted gaudy statistics in every game they have played this season. They are averaging a ridiculous 586.4 yards per game. No team has been able to slow them in the slightest. Even the highly praised Alabama defense allowed 628 yards and 42 points to A&M.
It all starts with the big boys up front. Texas A&M lost their starting left tackle from last year, Luke Joeckel, who went number two in the draft. His replacement, Jake Matthews, has been incredible. Matthews would have been a first rounder had he entered the draft last year, and should be an early first rounder in the 2014 draft. The line has been solid as a whole, doing a great job protecting a quarterback who likes to take his time. Johnny Manziel has only been sacked four times this year.
Ben Malena has been the top running back for A&M. He has more rushing yards, 303, than anyone on the team that hasn’t won a Heisman trophy. He has also has a team leading 7 rushing touchdowns, including at least one in every game this year.
Mike Evans has been arguably the best wide receiver in all of college football this year. The man has been uncontainable. Through five games he has five touchdowns and 691 receiving yards, second best in the nation. At 6’5″ 225 pounds he is a nightmare to guard. In the shootout with Alabama, Evans made the praised Crimson Tide defense look like a high school squad, he finished the game with a remarkable 279 yards receiving.
Texas A&M also has that Johnny kid. Last year Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman trophy, and is looking to add to his collection this year. As expected, he is having a sensational sophomore season. He has made defenses look absolutely stupid this year. Manziel is fourth in the country in passing yards with 1,489 yards and tied for third with 14 touchdown passes in just five games. He has been a human highlight reel this year constantly creating opportunities out of nothing. The LSU defense should be frightened that they have to face Johnny.
The Texas A&M offense is easily one of the best in the nation and shouldn’t have problems scoring at will against LSU, but what is going to make things interesting is the Aggies don’t have a defense that can come close to slowing down the Tigers.
The defense lost most of its key leaders from last year. Middle linebacker Jonathan Stewart was basically the quarterback of last year’s defense. Spencer Nealy was loved by the team and was the emotional leader. Damontre Moore led with his actions, the extremely gifted athlete constantly got pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
With many players gone the Texas A&M defense has been atrocious this year. They have allowed 30.8 points a game and have only played one quality opponent. Their defense has made sub-par offenses look good all season.
On November 23, it is going to be a battle of horrific defenses and top notch offenses. It is hard to see how either team will get the opposing offense off the field. Points will be numerous and it will be a thrilling game. If you enjoy shootouts you are in for a treat as this ballgame has the potential to surpass the total points in the Alabama, A&M game.
Special thanks goes out to Aggie enthusiast Will Mitchell for his help in making this article possible.