Pass Defense Woes Still Remain for Texas A&M Football
Since the Miami game, the Aggies had been playing some solid defense against opponent passing attacks. They had held each opponent below their season average when it comes to yards per attempt, and had given up relatively few explosive plays through the air after being torched all afternoon in Coral Gables. There was a guarded optimism around what was perceived to be the improved play of the Aggie secondary coming into the afternoon.
When Milroe had time, though, he really had no issue finding receivers downfield against the back end of this defense for Texas A&M football. Jermaine Burton had a career day against the Aggie defense, notching almost 200 yards on fewer than 10 catches as well as two touchdowns. DeBerry had an up-and-down day—he really shines close to the line of scrimmage, but his downfield coverage is suspect with regard to its consistency. That matchup was targeted right from the beginning by Alabama OC Tommy Rees. Isaiah Bond also broke open a big play for the first touchdown of the day, getting behind the defense on a busted coverage.
Milroe is a talented quarterback, especially when throwing downfield. This is true. However, he’s not that good, and definitely not that good when pressured. But especially in the second half, the Aggies were unable to make him uncomfortable, and he had no issue even finding holes underneath the Aggie coverage—something that I didn’t think he would be able to do up and down the field. This has to be a big concern for the Aggies moving forward, as not only are they facing a deadly downfield attack next week against Tennessee, each of their three remaining road games come against teams with a penchant for the downfield pass.