Texas A&M University
Players to watch - Offense
Once the Aggies' offense got rolling last Saturday against SMU it was tough to stop. Wide receiver Mike Evans was one of Johnny Manziel favorites targets. Evans caught six passes for 123 yards. On the season, Evans leads the Aggies with 13 receptions for 183 yards but he is still looking for his first touchdown. Getting that first TD Reception Saturday night would help the Aggies as they try to pick up their second win.
Players to watch - Defense
On the defensive side of the ball, watch out for end Damontre Moore. He leads the country averaging two and a half sacks per game. For the season, Moore has recorded 16 tackles and one pass break up. Don't be surprised to see him add to his sack total Saturday night.
Keys to the Game
The Aggies need to get off to a better start Saturday night than they have so far this season. In two games this year, the Aggies have scored only three points in the first quarter. They seem to get rolling from there putting up 55 in the second and third quarters combined.
The Aggies need to force more turnovers Saturday night. The team got their first turnover of the year last week against SMU when Tramain Jacobs picked off a Garret Gilbert pass. A&M is seventh in the SEC in turnover margin.
The Aggies need to stay strong on third down Saturday night. They enter play eighth in the country allowing team to convert on third down just 20 percent of the time. Three and outs give the ball back to that explosive Aggie offense.
South Carolina State
Players to watch - Offense
The South Carolina State offense is led by quarterback Richard Cue. He has completed 39 of 82 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns but cue has also thrown five interceptions. He also leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 129 yards.
Middle linebacker Joe Thomas leads the Bulldog defense in tackles with 25 this season. He has also recorded 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack and forced a fumble. Thomas will likely be tested Saturday night against an Aggie offense that can both run and throw.
Keys to the Game
South Carolina State will have to take advantage of any scoring opportunity they get Saturday night and preferably put the ball in the end zone. For the season, the bulldogs have made six trips into the red zone. They have scored on five of those trips. Two of those scores have been touchdowns. The Bulldogs have kicked three field goals.
South Carolina State need to play for a full 60 minutes. They have outscored their opponents 21-7 in the first quarter but then have been outscored 82 - 26 over the final three quarters.
The Bulldogs need to protect the football and keep it away from the Aggies. For the season, South Carolina State has turned the ball over seven times.
The Aggies enter Saturday's game 1 and 1 on the season after last week's 48-3 win over SMU. Johnny Manziel set a school record for passing yards by a freshman with 294. He threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores. The Aggies are still looking to for their first win of the season at Kyle Field after dropping the home opener to Florida 20-17. On paper, it looks like the Aggies should get that win Saturday night but they are not looking past South Carolina State.
"Just because they are a smaller conference, not a marquee conference, we can't take them lightly," Johnathon Stewart.
"We only have 12 guaranteed opportunities and we've already played two of them. We have to prepare for every single opponent as if they are a big time opponent. We can't take them lightly at all and end up being one of the teams that everybody looks at around the nation as, "How did you lose to that team?" We're going to prepare as if this is any other opponent," Stewart continued.
"They're a team just like us," said Uzoma Nwachukwu.
"I think that any team is able to be any team, that's just the game of football. We definitely have to get better and definitely have to fix some things on offense. This is just another week for us to work and get better," Nwachukwu continued.
South Carolina State enters Saturday night's game 1-2 on the season. This is their second straight road game. The Bulldogs lost to Arizona last weekend 56-0 in Tucson. Saturday night they will try to get back on a winning track and keeping the Aggies off balance will help in trying to pull off the upset at Kyle Field.
"If we can do some things to really make ourselves a little bit of an unknown they when have a chance to move the football on them," said Bulldog Head Coach Buddy Pough.
"Your best defense in a situation like this is a good offense. If you can keep the football away from them for some pretty regular lengths of time then you have a chance to stay in the game that way so that is what our goal is, is to keep the football and to score a few points," Pough continued.
Saturday's match-up will be the first meeting between Texas A&M and South Carolina State.
The 12th Man for Saturday's game is sophomore linebacker Justin Bass. He has been the 12th man for the first two games this season. Bass is a sophomore linebacker from Plano.
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