4. Front seven resurgence continues
Kevin Sumlin inherited a lot of defensive talent when he took the helm in 2012. That roster included players like Damontre Moore, Spencer Nealy, Sean Porter, Steven Terrell, Julien Obioha and Deshazor Ever among others.
Mark Synder, the Aggies defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2014, saw the drop off when most of that talent left immediately. Texas A&M finished 58th in total defense in 2012, then 111th in 2013 and 104th in 2014. That prompted the Aggies to bring in John Chavis from LSU.
Under “The Chief”, Texas A&M has finished 51st and 90th in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Entering Saturday’s game against Auburn the Aggies ranked 53rd in the nation in that metric. They’re not a lock down unit like Alabama or Georgia, but they’re no longer the biggest problem this team has.
The secondary has proven to be susceptible to be the big play. There’s plenty of work to be done there, but Chavis has kept this unit moving forward by building a dominant defensive front seven.
Landis Durham and Tyrel Dodson have taken over the departed duo of Myles Garrett and Shaan Washington. They led the charge on Saturday. Dodson led the team in tackles (14) and both he and Durham had a team high 1.5 tackles for a loss. As a unit the defense combined for two sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss.