Kneauxing the Enemy 2018
Record: 7-4 Overall, 4-3 SEC
Texas A&M is not a great football team, but they play hard. The squad which plays them has to play hard to win. Earlier this season, the Aggies lost two winnable game against Clemson and Auburn. They could easily be playing to go to a major bowl, just as the Purple and Gold. Instead, they will playing to whip LSU, which would give them just as much satisfaction.
The Aggie defense is not good against the pass. They allow 261 yards per game through the air, giving up 8.67 yards per pass. It is like they give up a first down per pass. The Aggies allowed 241 yards in the air against Mississippi State, a team not noted for its passing for the 2018 season. In their last game against Alabama-Birmingham, they gave up 306 passing yards.
Rushing defense is another story. They are the second in the country in run defense. The Aggies allow 82.8 yards per game on the ground. The leading tackler for A&M is senior linebacker Otaro Alaka with 68 stops, 34 unassisted. Junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson is the second leading tackler on the squad with 55, 20 solos. Senior defensive linemen Landis Durham and Kingsley Keke have 6.5 and 6.0 sacks respectively. Texas A&M allowed 109 yards on the ground in a lost to Alabama. They allowed 70 yards on the ground to Kentucky in a win.
On offense, the Aggies feature junior Trayveon Williams, ninth in the country in all-purpose yards. He has 1326 rushing yards with 280 yards in pass receptions. He averages 146 all-purpose yards per game. He is the leading rusher in the SEC, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Williams takes the ball from quarterback Kellen Mond, a sophomore. Mond has thrown for 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 59 percent of his passes. He is the fourth leading passer in the league. Earlier this season, Mond threw for 430 yards against Clemson. Mond is not the best passer in college football, but he is capable. His favorite target is tight end Jace Sternberger. Unlike most college football teams, who do not feature tight ends in their passing game, the Aggies use Sternberger intricately in their passing scheme. The junior averages 17.4 yards per catch, has over 700 yards in receptions, and has caught eight touchdown passes. Sophomore Camron Buckley averages 14.5 yards per reception. Sophomore Quartney Davis is averaging 12.4 yards per catch with five touchdowns.
Mond is sack prone. He was sacked seven times against Alabama, four times against Clemson, five times against Auburn, and three times on several occasions. This is because A&M is not a great pass protecting team, or Mond is still learning the position, play calling, or a combination of all three.
The Aggie offensive line is led by sophomore left guard Jared Hocker, junior center Erik McCoy, and senior right guard Keaton Sutherland.
Texas A&M has the best punter in the country in junior Braden Mann, who averages 50.9 yards per punt with a net of 44 yards, tops in the nation.
A Purple and Gold win guarantees the Tigers an appearance in a major bowl at a minimum, and possibly a date in the college football playoffs. It would be an incredible accomplishment, considering not much was expected from them this year.