Bulldogs will be shut down by Texas A&M football
Varying reports have come out about whether Will Rogers will be behind center for the Bulldogs come Saturday. Whether or not he is available to play, I still expect the defense for Texas A&M football to dominate in this matchup. The Aggies have been stellar against the run all year, and the passing offense for this State team has basically been in the toilet thus far this year (the South Carolina game being a notable exception). Rogers’s numbers are far better than that of Vanderbilt transfer Mike Wright, but are they enough to compete against this front? My gut feeling is no. Rogers doesn’t thrive under pressure—it was hard to get that pressure against him when the Bulldogs were running the air raid system with all its quick pass concepts, but things are different now.
As I mentioned in a previous column, there is a bit of a freeze point that this Aggie defense has against opposing passing attacks. I’m disregarding the Arkansas results for the purpose of this example, as the Hogs didn’t even record 20 attempts and one of them was a long 48-yard completion in garbage time, so it muddies the data a bit here. Against the Aggie secondary this year, five opponents have averaged 5.6 YPA or below. The other three (again, not including Arkansas) have averaged 9.7 or above. That’s a drastic no-man’s-land in the middle there. The three to achieve that high mark were Alabama, Miami, and Ole Miss. For one of those teams, the Aggies were without their starting corners. That’s a big deal. I do not foresee the Bulldogs being of the quality of these three teams when it comes to completing the deep ball; therefore, I think they will fall in with this group that has found themselves stifled by the Aggie defense.