Best three opponents play into defense’s strength
The Aggies’ best remaining opponents on the schedule are at Mississippi State this week, at Auburn next week and home for LSU to end the regular season. Each of these teams wants to run the football and that plays into A&M’s biggest strength.
Not only is Texas A&M’s rush defense No. 3 overall in the country and No. 1 in the SEC in both yards allowed and yards per rush allowed, but as this SB Nation article points out, they stay No. 1 in both when you sort for conference play, against ranked opponents, against Power 5 opponents, and against FBS opponents.
Point being? This A&M rush defense is not an aberration. It is very much for real. It has stood tall against the likes of Clemson (currently No. 7 in rush yards per game), Alabama (currently No. 27 in rush yards per game), and Kentucky (currently No. 14 in rush yards per game).
It will hold up against Mississippi State, which is the No. 13 rush offense in the country, LSU, which is the No. 39 rush offense in the country, and Auburn, whose offense has struggled in all aspects of moving the ball to this point in the season. In the context of this slide, Auburn ranks No. 98 in rush offense and No. 101 in rush yards per play.
A&M will be able to make all of these teams one-dimensional and prevent points.