Texas A&M vs. MSU: Aggie DEs will be the Key to beating Bulldogs


The Texas A&M football team will beat Mississippi State if defensive ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall contain Dak Prescott in the pocket. 

The Texas A&M football team will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Kyle Field on Saturday. Aggie defensive ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall will play a huge role in the outcome of the game between the two SEC West opponents.

More from Football

The Aggies enter the game with a 4-0 record and are ranked no. 14 in the nation. The Bulldogs are 3-1 and are ranked no. 21. Texas A&M is 1-0 in conference play while Mississippi State evened their record at 1-1 with a 17-9 victory at Auburn.

The Aggies escaped Arlington with a 28-21 overtime win in their conference-opener. Texas A&M struggled to contain the Razorbacks running game allowing 232 yards rushing and 5.5 yards per carry.

Arkansas was able to take advantage of the Aggies’ fierce pass rush, waiting for Garrett and Hall to push up field and then running through the rush lane they vacated. The Texas A&M defense will have to play with more discipline when they face Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

The senior quarterback for the Bulldogs is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country. Prescott is a 6’2″, 230-pound athlete who runs with tremendous power. He has a plus arm and is capable of making every pass needed in the Bulldogs’ spread offense.

The Aggies have struggled tremendously to slow down Prescott. He passed for 149 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for an eye-popping 154 yards on 16 carries against A&M in 2013. In 2014, Prescott completed 20 of 26 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns while adding three touchdowns on the ground in a 48-31 MSU victory. The Aggie defense has been unable to solve the Prescott riddle.

The Bulldogs are leaning on Prescott more than ever in 2015. MSU is averaging 448.3 yards per game on offense with Prescott accounting for 69 percent of those yards.

Mississippi State is only rushing for 144.8 yards per game in 2015. Of that yardage, 62.2 yards per game comes from Prescott and backup quarterback Nick Fitzgerald.

The Bulldog running backs are only averaging 89.5 yards rushing per game. Clearly the MSU offense leans on Prescott to carry them.

If the Aggies want to beat MSU they will need to contain Prescott. In order to do this, they will need Hall and Garrett to pressure him but to contain him in the backfield at the same time.

Prescott is not your average quarterback.  If he takes off scrambling it will take more than one defender to bring him down. Hall and Garrett can keep him from scrambling by setting the edge against the MSU offense.

The Aggies do not want to allow Prescott to get comfortable in the pocket, but the key to containing the MSU offense is to force him to beat you with his arm. Prescott is completing 66.9 percent of his passes and has not thrown an interception in 2015. However, the Bulldogs have struggled to score when defenses have relegated Prescott to a thrower.

LSU got three sacks from their defensive line as they held Prescott to negative-19 yards rushing in a 21-19 victory for the Tigers. Prescott did pass for 335 yards in the game but it took him 52 attempts to do it.

Auburn limited State to 17 points as they held Prescott to 14 yards rushing on six attempts. He passed for 270 yards and MSU won the game, but it is hard to blame the defense for a loss when they only allowed 17 points.

In the Bulldogs two other wins Prescott is averaging 63 yards rushing per game and the MSU offense is averaging 48 points per game. In their two conference games Prescott has rushed for negative-2.5 yards per fans while the Bulldogs are averaging 18.5 points per contest.

Garrett and Hall are the most effective pass-rushing duo in the nation with 10.5 combined sacks through four games. They will need to be on top of their game in order to keep Prescott in check.

If the Texas A&M defense can keep Prescott contained in the offensive backfield, then they will beat Mississippi State. If Prescott breaks containment, then it will be a long day in Aggieland.