Texas A&M football: Aggie rush defense should dominate Bulldogs

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football has had their struggles with Nick Fitzgerald and Mississippi State over the years, but the 2018 unit is perfectly suited to dominate the Bulldogs.

The old adage in football when a good defense meets a good offense is “an immovable object meets an unstoppable force.” On paper, that’s what is going to happen when Texas A&M football goes on the road to Mississippi State this weekend.

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The No. 4 rush defense in the country will look to continue dominating and Mississippi State’s No. 13 rushing attack will try to build off their recent success after putting up 550 rushing yards in their last two games.

Texas A&M has been the best run defense in the country, numbers be damned. Here are the rushing offenses the three teams ahead of the Aggies have faced:

  • Utah – Weber State (FCS), NIU (70th), Wash (55th), Wash St (128th), Stanford (127th), Arizona (42), and USC (112).
  • Michigan State – Utah State (63rd), Arizona State (69th), Indiana (74th), Central Mich (89th), Northwestern (129th), Penn State (11th – gave up 205 yards), Michigan (30th – gave up 183 yards)
  • Iowa – NIU (70th), Iowa State (106th), Northern Iowa (FCS), Wisconsin (3rd – gave up 210 yards), Minnesota (86th), Indiana (74th), Maryland (22nd)

It took until literally the last opponent faced in Week 8 for one of these three teams to put up a good defensive performance against a top 30 rushing offense. And Maryland is Maryland. Here are the rush offenses A&M has faced:

  • NWST (FCS), Clemson (7th), ULM (62nd), Alabama (27th), Arkansas (44th), Kentucky (14th), South Carolina (78th)

If you use FCS opponents as being ranked last out of 130, Utah’s average ranking of rush defense faced is 106, Michigan State’s is 66, Iowa’s is 70, and A&M’s is 51. Utah faced no top 30 rush defenses, and Michigan State has faced two and gave up big numbers to both, and Iowa has faced two and gave up big numbers to one.

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A&M has faced almost as many top 30 rush offenses as these teams combined and put up good numbers against every single one. Clemson (7th), Kentucky (14th) and Alabama (27th) all saw the Aggies, and all of them found no room to run.

Mississippi State has the country’s No. 13 rush offense. Obviously A&M will fear no offense at this point, but looking inside the numbers should give them even more confidence.

Florida’s 73rd ranked rush defense held the Bulldogs to 104 yards on 32 carries. Kentucky’s No. 17 rush defense held them to 56 yards and 28 carries. LSU’s No. 33 rush defense allowed 201 yards on 37 carries, but forced Fitzgerald to throw four interceptions and held them to three points.

Only Auburn allowed Mississippi State to go off and put points on the board. They surrendered 349 rush yards and 23 points.

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None of these defenses have been as good as the Aggies to this point. The fact that Florida and Kentucky dominated MSU should give Mike Elko’s unit total confidence they can shut down Fitzgerald and company and dictate the outcome of the game.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.