This crazy stat shows the dominance of Mike Elko’s defense with Texas A&M football

Aggie fans should be excited about the future of the defense for Texas A&M football.

Oct 21, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Duke Blue Devils  head coach Mike Elko during the first
Oct 21, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Elko during the first / Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas A&M football’s defense is being slept on: Mike Elko’s defensive production shown in one stat

The past couple of years for Texas A&M football have seen no shortage of discourse about the quality of the defense. By and large, when Elko was the Aggie DC, there were few complaints—though there was the occasional gripe about an ability to deal with high-flying passing attacks, most every team around the country deals with issues there year in and year out.

Regardless of what you think of Durkin as a coach, the consensus is that the defense will take a step up with Elko back in town. Even so, I think the man is being underrated. His defensive productivity while here is nigh unmatched, and if the defense can get back to that point, then big things are ahead for the Aggies.

What do I mean? Well, I could point at things like SP+ ratings, advanced statistics, and the like, but let’s put it in plain terms. User Coastag227 on Texags pointed this out: in the four years that Elko was the DC in College Station, the Aggies starting defense allowed a team to score more than 30 points just seven times. Four times, it was Alabama. Twice, it was LSU (and one of those games was the 7OT thriller, though the Tigers had managed 31 points in regulation). And the final time, it was to Florida in 2020, with the Kyle Trask-Kyle Pitts-Kadarius Toney offense under Dan Mullen.

In that same stretch, Georgia allowed a team to score more than 30 points six times and Alabama allowed a team to score more than 30 points eleven times. This is elite company for Elko to be in.

The scariest thing is that in 2021, Elko allowed a team to score more than 30 only once—the same number of times as Georgia, the eventual national champion, allowed it. Both were to Alabama. A&M allowed 38, while UGA allowed 41 (with star receiver Jameson Williams going down with injury in the middle of the game). Bama scored non-offensive touchdowns in both of these games, so the defenses technically allowed 31 and 34, respectively.

This contributed heavily to the stellar record that Jimbo was able to put up with Elko when scoring more than 30 points. Put simply, if your opponent never exceeds that mark, you will have an unblemished record when you do.

Going forward, it is also encouraging on two fronts. First, this will be the most skilled defense, in my estimation, that Elko has had. It stands to reason, then, that he should be able to replicate the success he previously had. Second, now free of Jimbo’s system, it also stands to reason that the offense should improve significantly. That means a lot more wins in the future for Texas A&M football.

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