Aggie Front Seven Controls the Game
Miami was, for the most part, able to completely control the game on the ground in their first contest of the year. The explosiveness on display by their rushing attack was a sight to behold; they picked up huge chunks of yardage time and time again.
Of course, if you watch the tape closely, you begin to see why. The offensive line for the Hurricanes was getting a massive push up front against a completely undersized Redhawks defensive line, leading to a staggering average yards before contact number.
While I do think this displays improved play up front from the Canes—which, under Cristobal’s tutelage, shouldn’t exactly be surprising—I don’t think the shift is truly as dramatic as this number might indicate.
One of the things I’ve been looking forward to seeing during this Texas A&M football season is the improvement by all those highly-rated defensive linemen from the 2022 as they mature into sophomores, as well as a full season of dominance from McKinnley Jackson. I think both of those things start to exert an influence on this game. Another thing I think is key is quick reactions from the linebackers for the Aggies, especially on screen passes (essentially an extension of the running game in this system). If there is one linebacker on God’s green earth that he created to run down a screen pass, it is Edgerrin Cooper; if there is one he created to read keys and fill gaps correctly, it is Taurean York. Give me both of those guys to stifle the Hurricane short game and put them consistently in unfavorable down-and-distance situations, where the Aggie pass rush can really start to make their presence felt.