KEY 3: Max Johnson stays clean
This refers to both the Texas A&M football QB’s play with regard to turnovers as well as the offensive line’s ability to keep a decent pocket. As I wrote earlier this week, the Volunteers have one of the best sack rates in the nation, but a small adjustment for opponent quality knocks them down from second in the conference (behind the nation’s leader in A&M) all the way to 6th in the SEC. The Aggies have faced two defenses with better fronts (on an opponent-adjusted sack rate basis) in Arkansas and Alabama, and allowed zero sacks to one of them. Of course, they allowed five sacks to the other—all in a single half—so maybe that washes out when all is said and done.
KEY 4: Get Moss going
I think I’ve been calling for this for maybe two or three weeks in a row now, but Le’Veon Moss really just flashes whenever he gets the ball. It’s a shame he didn’t get more opportunities on the edges against an Alabama defense that showed some vulnerability there, but getting him going against a Vol rushing defense susceptible to the big play could yield some game-changing carries for #8. It will also help take the pressure off of Max Johnson when it comes time to throw the ball.
KEY 5: Hit big in the red zone
This one is a double entendre as well, because I’m just that cute with my writing. This Texas A&M football team has several extremely tall targets that they can hit once inside the 20 that they haven’t capitalized on enough yet this season. Jake Johnson has gotten a couple of touches down in there over the last few games, but I’m also thinking specifically of Noah Thomas, who we haven’t heard much from since the first game of the season (for good reason, of course). Theo Mehlin Ohrstrom may not be ready yet, but count me among the Texas A&M football fans who are ready to see “The Swede” break out sooner rather than later for this Aggie team. Let Max throw it up there and have Thomas, Johnson, or even a Jahdae Walker go up and get it if you get in range up on Rocky Top. However they do it, the Aggies need to come away from scoring opportunities with sevens and not threes in this road contest.