It’s almost game time for the 2018 Taxslayer Gator Bowl, and this very unbiased writer is going to tell you why Texas A&M football will win.
We’re almost to the kickoff of the 2018 Taxslayer Gator Bowl and the first ever matchup between NC State and Texas A&M football. We’ve given you some players to watch, a quick scouting report of the Wolfpack, and now it’s time to make an official prediction for the game.
Texas A&M and NC State are similar in a few ways. Their defenses have the exact same strengths and weaknesses. A&M has the No. 2 rush defense at just 92 yards per game and NC State has the No. 13 rush defense at 109.1 yards per game. The two teams finished with the exact same number of sacks this season and tied for No. 16 in sacks per game.
They will also each be missing key defenders that led to these numbers. NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt has elected to sit out the game to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. A&M linebacker Otaro Alaka was forced out of the game with a hand injury and has played the final game of his Aggie career.
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The Aggies will also be without safety Donovan Wilson who has to sit out after having sports hernia surgery. Both teams also struggle in pass coverage, meaning Wilson’s absence leaves the secondary without its captain and starter. A&M finished the year No. 111 in pass yards allowed and NC State was No. 125.
Both offenses are explosive, finishing in the Top 20 at moving the ball up and down the field, with NC State averaging just under a point per game more.
The key to victory will be which defense can make plays to swing momentum. NC State has an advantage in turnovers forced 18 to nine — the Aggies were second to last in this category in 2018. Both teams are capable of getting after the quarterback, but NC State has the better offensive line.
Looking at this matchup on paper would seemingly favor the Wolfpack, but games aren’t played on paper. Jimbo Fisher with a month to prepare will have his team ready to put up points. It doesn’t feel like this is a game that will feature a lot of stops. It’s about making that one crucial stop late.
AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT WE’RE GONNA DO TO EM, AGGIES!
WE’RE GONNA BEAT THE EVER-LIVIN’
FIGHTIN’ TEXAS AGGIE REVENGE OVER THE ACC
FIGHTIN’ TEXAS AGGIE 9-WIN SEASON
WE’RE GONNA BEAT THE HELL OUTTA nc state.
Texas A&M 41, NC State 34