First Look at Upcoming Opponent for Texas A&M Football
The season rolls on for Texas A&M football, as the Aggies look to get bowl eligible in a return home for their final conference game of the season at Kyle Field. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are their opponent in this one—a foe with their own fair share of troubles. State comes in with a grand total of one conference win this season—a 7-3 win over Arkansas on the road—and not much going for them on either side of the ball. They are coming off of a 24-3 home loss to Kentucky that was noncompetitive for most of the game. Vanderbilt transfer Mike Wright is currently the guy at quarterback for the Bulldogs after senior Will Rogers went down with injury, and he is likely the signal caller the Aggies will see come Saturday night. He’s much more mobile than Rogers, but a far inferior passer.
After the tragic passing of Mike Leach, State handed the head coaching reins over to DC Zach Arnett, a man whose star was rising in the coaching world due to the solid defenses his teams always boasted. For some reason, Arnett decided to completely shift the team’s philosophy with regard to offensive strategy, from an air-raid attack to a ground-and-pound, bully-ball type squad. This has not exactly yielded great results so far, with the Bulldogs averaging a lowly 5.50 yards per play for the year, and only 4.99 in conference play (bolstered by a day where the passing game exploded for 10.1 YPA against South Carolina, as well). This is just not a talented enough unit to lean on opposing teams in the way that Arnett has tried to do. Since Wright took the reins, the team has averaged a shockingly low 256 yards per game.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have been up and down. They haven’t allowed huge yardage totals to anyone outside of LSU (though they somehow gave up more yards to Western Michigan than they did Alabama? Lower yards per play, though). They’ve looked decent against the pass in the last few weeks, but they’ve also played teams that cannot pass the ball at all (Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky), so that should be taken with a grain of salt. They’re as susceptible to the run as any team on the schedule for Texas A&M football so far, so I expect the Ags to lean on that aspect of things for a big part of the day.
This should be an easy victory for the Aggies. Early lines have A&M favored by multiple scores, and though we are waiting to hear on the status of Max Johnson given some of the rumors that are floating around, I still think the Aggies can ride their defense and the run game to an easy win here at night in Kyle Field. Give me Texas A&M football winning by a score of 27-3.