After watching a little bit of film on the Warhawks, it looks like much of their offensive issues come down to lack of execution rather than scheme. I saw several times against Army where the had receivers open but it happened that either the timing was off by the quarterback or the throw was errant. One play saw a Warhawk receiver get to his spot on a curl route and stand there for no less than two whole seconds before the ball reached his hands, allowing a Black Knight defender to light him up. That said, a bend-don’t break style of defense should work well for the Aggies in this matchup—you don’t have to get too aggressive and do too much. Make ULM execute down the field, stay sound in run defense, and don’t let them beat you over the top. Soon enough, those big defensive linemen will be getting home to the Warhawk QB and things will swing in your favor.
I should say as well that I like the idea of Conner kind of facing a bit of a trial-by-fire here in the first few games of the season as far as figuring out how to set protections. Two heavily-blitzing teams in UNM and ULM that often go with exotic looks and one team in Miami that threw everything and the kitchen sink at the young QB is quite the lesson as Texas A&M football moves towards conference play. If nothing else, this should be a good training ground on that front.
Given the style of offense that ULM plays, it’s hard to see them moving the ball consistently. I could definitely see them moving within field goal range once during the game, but otherwise they would have to hit a deep shot in order to get into scoring position against this Aggie defense. that said, don’t freak out if they hit a deep shot. It’s part of their offense to test the back end of the opposing defense, so unless it’s a situation where Tyreek Chappell or Josh DeBerry is beaten by about five steps, I guarantee it’s just one of those things that happens from time to time. Sometimes they make a play, even when the “they” is Louisiana Monroe.
I personally don’t see that happening, however. I think the Aggie pass rush will be able to pin their ears back to a greater degree in this contest than they did in either of the first two games when the Warhawks drop back to throw deep, and they should therefore prevent such a play from occurring. On offense, I think the passing game for Texas A&M football will be able to victimize the ULM secondary with their superior talent and will mix in just enough running to keep them honest. Give me 48-3 Aggies in this one.