It is time the move on. Preseason hype is over. College Gameday has headed to Knoxville. The first game's been played. Sadly some ghosts of the past still linger, but a whole season still remains. Now the Mustangs of SMU await the Aggies in Dallas for the first time since the days of the Southwest Conference. I'm expecting A&M will be like Mr. T when he's interviewed in Rocky III.
-“What is your prediction for the fight?”
Now that the team has a game under their belt and will now have the opportunity to flex their muscles, SMU will have their hands full the say the least. For Saturday, here are you three biggest things to look for from Texas A&M.
3. Defensive Takeaways
One of the many areas of concern from 2011 was the defense's inability to create turnovers. While this year they certainly haven't missed a beat on sacking the quarterback, fumbles and interceptions were nowhere to be found. In last season's opener against the Mustangs, A&M forced an interception on SMU's first drive. Saturday the Aggie defense will have Garrett Gilbert, who's been shaky in his first couple of starts. This should set up to be a prime opportunity for the secondary to take advantage of a few bad throws.
2. Rushing Attack
Against Florida, the Aggie offense decided to share the carries throughout the trio of Christine Michael, Ben Malena and Trey Williams. The strategy has the advantage of keeping all the backs fresh but none really got into rhythm outside of Malena using the Madden truck stick on a Florida defender. To have the most success, as well as help with Johnny Manziel's development, the running game for A&M must be an area of consistency. As said last week, the two biggest strengths for the Ags were the offensive line and their depth at running back. Against an inferior opponent like SMU, there should be some big openings for the trio of Michael, Malena and Williams.
1. Taking Out Some Frustrations
The locker room must believe they let one slip away against the Gators. There was a great opportunity to make a grand SEC entrance and it was spoiled. That must make the team very angry. And when a team's angry and in the next two weeks will play an opponent who lost to Baylor by 30 points and a FCS (formerly Division 1AA) school, it may not be a pretty site. Best case scenario for A&M would be to rip through the next two weeks and head to the Arkansas game with a big chip on their shoulder. Last Saturday not only showed the Aggies can hold their own in the SEC, it showed that they can win right now.