Grading the defense for Texas A&M football
Defensive Line: A
The numbers weren’t near as gaudy as they have been on the sack front, but Texas A&M football still notched a solid 8 tackles for loss. For a Tennessee team that only gives up 3.83 per game, that’s pretty amazing. They got washed out in the run game sometimes by the all-senior Volunteer line, but when it mattered they really clamped down. The Aggies still have yet to allow a rushing touchdown since the first game of the year.
The approach by Tennessee in this game is almost exactly the same as Ole Miss’s rushing attack last year. When you compare the play of the linebackers in that game to this one, it’s seriously night and day. Even with Edgerrin Cooper unable to play the second half, Chris Russell and Taurean York picked up the slack and really tightened up in the red zone. Their coverage was admirable as well, as the Aggies were never burned by a drag or slant across the middle in this game.
Defensive Backs: B
Only once did a receiver convincingly get behind an Aggie DB—and he dropped it. The rest of the time, though the back end of this Texas A&M football defense was tested often, the receivers were blanketed by Deuce Harmon or Tyreek Chappell. The Aggies held Tennessee to their lowest YPA of the year at 4.5, lowest total yards of the year at 100, and lowest passer rating of the year. They also picked off Milton in the end zone to shut the door on a scoring opportunity for Big Orange.