When Texas A&M football is on defense
As I have been outlining thus far, the Bulldogs have had a lot of struggles when it comes to scoring. They currently boast the lowest points per drive in conference outside of Vanderbilt, and the lowest overall when adjusted for opponent strength. Their overall success rate is again the second-lowest in the conference ahead of only the Commodores, both by raw number as well as opponent-adjusted. They not only struggle between the 20s, but also when it comes to scoring opportunities, boasting the lowest points per red zone trip in the SEC. They convert a horrid 32% of their third down attempts (again lowest in the SEC), and also have the second-lowest PPA/play ahead of only Vandy.
So yes, statistically, this is a terrible offense—one of the worst the Aggies have yet played. For that reason alone, Texas A&M football should feel good about this matchup. But the Bulldogs still have some weapons in Tulu Griffin and Woody Marks, their top receiver and running back respectively. Griffin has been less featured in recent days due to injuries at the quarterback position in Starkville. Vanderbilt transfer Mike Wright has been leading the Bulldogs over the past few weeks, though his lack of effectiveness has brought a notion that freshman signal caller Chris Parson might see some time. Of course, it’s also possible that Will Rogers, who has missed quite a bit of time this year, might be healthy enough to return at this point. That would be a point of worry for Texas A&M football fans, as Rogers is one of the most experienced and effective quarterbacks in the conference, even if this scheme isn’t quite his cup of tea.
The Bulldogs are middle of the road when it comes to allowing sacks and TFLs, so the Aggie defense should be able to take advantage of them on that front, especially in front of a raucous night crowd at Kyle Field. The pressure that the Aggie front places on a team, especially one that can’t pass the ball downfield effectively, is so great that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a defensive score by the Aggies here. It depends on whether Will Rogers plays or not, and also on how well the Aggie offense can control things on their end, but writ large I don’t expect the Bulldogs to crack double digits in scoring.