The Ralphie Report needed more information about Texas A&M, so beergut and I Am The 12th Man provide us some more answers about this Aggies team and what we can expect Saturday. Here is Part 1 of our Q&A if you missed it. Enjoy.
The last four games have been night and day compared to the first four. What is the best way to slow down this Texas A&M offense that has suddenly blown up?
Well, there is the always the old standby, your best defense is a good offense. We're weak on run defense, so running the ball and keeping it out of our hands is really the best tactic. Defensively, best way to stop us is pressure from the edges. If you bring blitzes, just have a LB spy on the RB to stop the shovel pass. Force us into third and long, and then bring pressure and make sure you cover Jamie McCoy, and you should be able to stop us.
See the rest of the questions after the jump...
Take me back to the day after the Arkansas State loss. Describe that feeling. How close was A&M fan to revolting? Now you fast forward almost two whole months and A&M has rattled off three wins and are 3.5 point favorites on Colorado. Did you honestly see that coming?
Well, before the season, I thought we'd blowout Arkansas State, and then struggle with New Mexico. When a buddy called and told me the final score of the game, I thought he was trying to play a joke on me. I hung up on him and called my brother to get a confirmation on the score. It was pretty much unfathomable that we would lose a game to Arkansas Freaking State, but we did. I don't think our fan base was close to revolting, I think we were all in a state of disbelief. You did have some people who claimed this was proof that Sherman was the wrong hire, and we should go ahead and get rid of him now, etc. You always have those the-sky-is-falling reactionaries after losses, though. I do remember thinking if we could lose to Arkansas State, we could lose to anyone on our schedule, and 0-12 was a possibility. I felt a lot better after watching the game film, though (I was out of town when the game was played, so I didn't see it in person). We played okay in the first half, but had four turnovers in the second half. You'll lose a lot of games when you give the other team that many turnovers in one half.Moving on to the next week, I figured we'd beat New Mexico just because our team would be embarrassed about the Arkansas State game, and we did win that one (UNM being a mediocre team helped). I think all of us expected to beat Army, so that wasn't a surprise.The blowout loss to Miami wasn't fun, but Jerrod Johnson set a freshman record for passing yards in a debut, and we actually moved the ball in the second half, so we thought we might actually have something on offense. Jeff Fuller and Ryan Tannehill were showing promise as receivers.Against Oklahoma State, we shot ourselves in the foot early, giving them some quick turnovers for TDs early in the game, and giving up a punt return for a TD to give them 21 points early, and put ourselves out of the game. Like in the Miami game, we moved the ball well after the game got away from us, so we still felt like if we could just come out and play well for the whole game, we would be competitive.In the Kansas State game, we scored 30 points, proving we could actually put the ball in the end zone. We also rolled up 544 yds of total offense, with Jerrod Johnson putting up 410 yds passing and Ryan Tannehill getting 210 yds receiving the ball. We now knew our offense was explosive, and could score. We just needed to see if we could win a shootout.In the Tech game, our defense played with intensity and we turned some turnovers into points, so we had a halftime lead over a top 10 team. It was the first time this year where we were not only competitive, but we looked like we might be able to beat a good team. Johnson twisted his knee on a high-low hit in the first half, and his loss of mobility hurt our offense in the second half.The Iowa State game was really viewed as a must-win by a lot of our fans. We knew Iowa State was really that good, and thought we were a better team, and going out and playing like it and proving it was necessary. I think that win was a real positive for the team, too, simply because it was their first conference win, and it came on the road, where conference wins are tough to get.Now we come to the Colorado game, and I don't think that 3.5 line is too much to brag about. You get 3 points for being the home team, so that means on a neutral field, they think our teams are equal. The fact that it has moved .5 in our favor just means people think we're going to outscore you because we've been able to score in our last few games, and y'all were just shutout.So, I'm kinda surprised we're favored over you, but given what I've watched over the season so far, no, I'm not surprised we are where we are. The one constant with this team is that they have shown improvement with every game, which makes them exciting to watch, because they get better and better every time out. I knew if we kept doing that, we'd be a fun team to watch by the end of the season, and he we are.
His performance against Kansas State and Iowa State was expected, but I don't think we expected it so quickly. Johnson is still very raw in some ways, but he is also spectacular in many ways. He has two of the top four passing games in A&M history, and that's in only 7 starts.
Finish these sentences...
Colorado wins the game if: you run the ball well, moving the chains for your offense, and keeping our offense off the field. If you run the ball a lot and are able to get at least one turnover while remaining turnover free yourself, I could see you winning a tight one, 17-14.
Texas A&m wins the game if: we continue to protect Jerrod Johnson, continue to pass the ball well, and win. If we can keep you from scoring on three possessions and score ourselves on three possessions, I like our chances.
Prediction Time! The line is 3.5 and the bettors are loving A&M right now. Does A&M prove the people right and throw the Buffs football program into a dark hole until next year or do the Buffs keep the lights on and play for a bowl game next week?
Your bowl hopes will have to wait until next week. I predict a 24-17 win for A&M. 2 TD passes by Jerrod Johnson, and Jorvorskie Lane runs one in from short yardage. Of course, I am an optimistic homer, so you can't ever go by what I say. I can just as easily see y'all blowing us out.