COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – Texas A&M made big strides in their first season under Jimbo Fisher, and the numbers back it up.
If we are running down numbers that say the Aggies were better across the board, then you've got to start with the most important: wins, where A&M jumped from seven in 2017 to nine in 2018.
Offensively, the biggest improvement came in the ground game. Texas A&M ran for 219 yards per game, a nearly 65 yard per game improvement that saw them jump from 77th to 21st in the national rankings.
A better rushing attack led to better ball control, where the Aggies average of 34 minutes of possession per contest was third best in the nation. That's five minutes and 82 places in the national rankings better than the 2017 team.
The Aggies averaged 36 points per game, 19th best in the nation, and nearly 472 yards per game, 15th best in the nation. Both improvements on 34th and 56th place rankings in the final season under Sumlin.
The passing attack was only slightly better, as the 252.6 yards per game the Aggies averaged was only 1.4 more per game than the 2017 squad.
The biggest improvement on the defensive side of the ball? That's easy, stopping the run. Mike Elko's unit ranked fourth in the country, giving up 95.2 yards per game. In the final season of the John Chavis' Aggie era his defense gave up about 75 more yards per game on the ground, 70th best in the nation.
The Aggies saw a 40-spot jump and a 5.4 point improvement in points allowed and gave up 60 fewer yards per game overall to go from 78th to 32nd nationally.
The only areas of regression under Elko were the passing defense, which gave up about 16 more yards per game, and turnovers. The 2017 squad forced 22 turnovers, the 2018 team only came up with 11.