Rushing Attack for Texas A&M Football Still Needs Work
Before the game, I pointed out that this was an opportunity for Texas A&M football to really take the chance to lean on the run game, as the Gamecocks hadn’t exactly been amazing against the run; certainly not as good as the last two Aggie opponents. While A&M had more success on the ground against Carolina than they did Alabama or Tennessee, the Aggies were still unable to enforce their will for most of the game. Give credit where it’s due; linebacker Debo Williams played a huge game for the Gamecocks. He was everywhere in this game. But the Ags should have had much more success than they did in this one, and it’s starting to become a concerning trend.
The biggest thing, for me, was that all too often and too predictably, the Aggies ran the ball on first down. Seventeen out of twenty-six first downs were rushes in this game for the Aggies, nearly two-thirds of the time. Late in the game, Carolina was clearly keying in on the rush on early downs, and the Aggies never checked out of the original call. Here are the last six first downs of the game:
- Run for 5 yards
- Run for 1 yards
- Run for 3 yards
- Run for no gain
- Run for a loss of 1
- Run for 2 yards
I understand that you’re trying to run the clock out late in the game, but this is almost all of the fourth quarter, and starts when the Gamecocks had pulled just within a score. The sack-adjusted YPC on these first down runs was 3.06; the sack-adjusted average YPC in this game was 3.32. YPA on these first down attempts was 9.0; it was 8.3 for the game. I know this goes a bit against what I was saying before, but some choice play action attempts on first down would have done well late in the game, in my opinion. As a function of the larger philosophy of “make things easier on Max,” I don’t have an issue with it, but you’ll have to find different ways to execute it, given how poor the success was. Take what the defense is giving you; don’t let them lure you off your game plan, but take advantage of their aggression.