Texas A&M Football: Advanced stats and the Aggie defense

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Rushing S&P+

Rushing S&P+ is one area the Aggies have struggled in years past. Being able to stop the run is one reason why teams like Alabama are so successful. Making teams one-dimensional makes them easier to defeat.

A&M scores 111.6, almost 12 points above the national average. Ranking 35th in the country, they are around teams such as Eastern Michigan at 34th, Texas Tech at 36th (Kliff finally got a defense going in Lubbock), and North Carolina at 33rd. TCU, Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn are the top 4 teams in the rushing S&P+ rankings, and all of them are in the top 10. That is no coincidence at all. Being able to stop the run is necessary at any level of football.

In 2016, the Aggies were slightly weaker against the run, scoring 104.3. They ranked 47th, and it was a year when the defense finally began to stop the run with consistency. Comparing that to 2014, however, shows the larger improvment. In 2014, the Aggie rush defense was 119th in the country, around teams such as SMU, UNLV, New Mexico and Texas Tech. Ouch.