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Summer Preview: Texas A&M

Team: Texas A&M Aggies

Conference: Big 12 - South Division

Location: College Station, Texas

2006 Record: 9-4 (5-3)

Coach: Dennis Franchione

2007 Schedule:

Date Opponent
9.1 Montana State
9.8 Fresno State
9.15 UL Monroe
9.20 @ Miami
9.29 Baylor
10.6 Oklahoma State
10.13 @ Texas Tech
10.20 @ Nebraska
10.27 Kansas
11.3 @ Oklahoma
11.10 @ Missouri
11.23 Texas

In no particular order, 5 players of interest from Texas A&M:

  1. Mike Goodson, RB, So.: Goodson is ridiculously fast, which as far as I'm concerned scares me much more than Javorskie Lane. Granted, Lane is big and nimble, but you can catch him if he gets out in the open field. With Goodson, it won't be as easy. Goodson started slowly for the Aggies, he only had 39 rushing yards against Texas Tech, and only 36.4 yards for his first 5 collegiate games. Goodson's final 7 conference games he averaged 86.1 yards a carry and only 10.2 carries a game. Hell, just look at his average yards per cary: 5.35 in September, 7.05 in October and 8.14 in November. That's a kid who is really turning it on as time progresses. This is also the same team that was 7th in the nation in rushing last year. Not to mention, towards the end of the year Goodson was a little more involved in the passing game and would expect a larger dose of Goodson receiving passes out of the backfield. It seems that Lane's gotten more of the preseason hype, but Goodson's a more special talent.
  2. Chris Harrington, DT, Sr.: Harrington had 7.5 sacks last year, 59 tackles and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Harrington led a defense that was 55th in the nation in rushing defense so there's certainly room for improvement. You would think that Harrington, along with Red Bryant, would be a formidable duo, and they are, but A&M hasn't quite put the complete package together. I'm waiting for the Aggies to get a little more aggressive as the Ags weren't particularly adept at sacking the quarterback or tackles for loss. Harrington did rank 58th in the nation with 0.58 sacks per game. Although A&M's defense certainly has improved over the past 2 seasons, this team and this defense has to take the next step and be dominating. I'm not sure that the Aggies will take that next step, but we'll see.
  3. Stephen McGee, QB, Jr.: At the end of last year, if you would have told me that McGee threw for 2,578 yards, rushed for another 901 and was a part of 18 touchdowns I would have called you a liar. McGee was that productive, and there were games where he was incredible effective, but there were 5 games where McGee didn't complete a touchdown pass. There were 4 games that he didn't throw for over 103 yards (103 v. Texas Tech; 102 v. Army; 63 v. Oklahoma; and 58 v. Texas). Granted, the Aggies won two of those games (Army and Texas) and lost the other two (Texas Tech and Oklahoma). But doesn't McGee need to be a little more dynamic? Or is he in a situation where he just has to lets the game come to him, he doesn't press and merely hopes that the defense or offense can squeeze out a win if it's close. Much like SMQ, I'd rather my quarterback be a little more daring.
  4. Misi Tupe, LB, Sr.: Tupe was a junior college transfer last year and is only 1 of 2 linebackers in Coach Fran's 4-2-5 scheme. Tupe started out well last year and averaged 5.71 tackles over the first 7 games last year, but there was a distinct drop-off over the last 5 games (Tupe was out against Nebraska) where he had 3, 4, 6, 1 and 0 tackles. Tupe should be an integral part of the defense, and much like Harrington, he'll be counted on to improve the Aggies' rush defense.
  5. Martellus Bennett, TE, Sr.: DTN teased Bennett earlier in the year, all in good fun, but there's no doubting that Bennett is an incredibly talented tight end. I also think that although he was a tad uneven last year, I'll blame that on McGee rather than on Bennett. The one area that A&M could utilize Bennett more is around the goal line as Bennett only had 3 touchdowns and 2 of those TD's came against Baylor. As mentioned above, Bennett had games where he wasn't quite as effective: Army - 9 receiving yards; Texas Tech - 14 receiving yards; Oklahoma - 3 receiving yards; Texas - 4 receiving yards; and California - 6 receiving yards. There are too many big games there for Bennett not to be a focal point. Bennett would damn near be unstoppable if he could figure out how to get open every game because there isn't any doubt that he can be a difference maker.

In no particular order, key Texas A&M Aggie statistics:

  1. 26.08: The Aggies were number 3 in the nation in kick off returns led by Kerry Franks.
  2. 4.23: A&M was 108th in the country in tackles for loss.
  3. 206.85: The Ags were 8th in the nation in rushing offense (Lane 101 yards and Goodson 65 yards).
  4. 20.54: Texas A&M was tied for 44th in the nation in scoring defense.
  5. 1.46: A&M was tied for 24th in the country in sacks allowed, which says 2 things: McGee can scramble and get positive yardage in most situations and the offensive line is pretty good.

Previous Summer Previews:

Date Opponent
9.3 @ SMU Mustangs
9.8 UTEP Miners
9.15 @ Rice Owls
9.22 @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
9.29 Northwestern State Demons
10.6 Iowa State Cyclones
10.13 Texas A&M Aggies
10.20 @ Missouri Tigers
10.27 Colorado Buffaloes
11.3 @ Baylor Bears
11.10 @ Texas Longhorns
11.17 Oklahoma Sooners