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Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus // Texas A&M Aggies

2009 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: North Dakota Fighting Sioux // Game 2: Rice Owls // Game 3: Texas Longhorns // Game 4: Houston Cougars // Game 5: New Mexico Lobos // Game 6: Kansas State Wildcats // Game 7: Nebraska Cornhuskers // Game 8: Texas A&M Aggies

Head coach Mike Sherman is in year two of the rebuilding project that is the Texas A&M Aggies. After the past two years, there's no doubt in my mind that Dennis Franchionne left the program in complete shambles and now Sherman is left cleaning up the pieces.

Join me after the jump for a closer look at Texas A&M.

General Information

Opponent Texas A&M University
Nickname Aggies
Location College Station, TX
Enrollment 38,430 (Undergraduates)
Conference Big 12
Head Coach Mike Sherman
2008 Record 4-8 (2-6)
Starters Returning/Lost 16/6
Blogs I Am The 12th Man
Texas A&M & Baseball In No Particular Order
Links 2009 Media Supplement (pdf)
2009 Spring Game Wrap-Up


Statistic Texas A&M Texas Tech
Pass Offense 252.42 (27) 413.15 (1)
Rush Offense 88.50 (114) 117.84 (94)
Total Offense 340.92 (78) 531.00 (4)
Scoring Offense 25.00 (64) 43.77 (3)
Pass Efficiency 135.25 (35) 158.76 (9)
Sacks Allowed 3.25 (115) 1.00 (4)
Pass Defense 242.67 (95) 242.23 (94)
Rush Defense 219.25 (114) 140.38 (61)
Total Defense 461.92 (114) 382.62 (79)
Scoring Defense 37.42 (114) 27.85 (74)
Pass Efficiency Defense 144.41 (108) 130.56 (72)
Sacks 1.33 (100) 2.62 (18)
Tackles For Loss 4.83 (97) 4.85 (95)
Turnover Margin -0.83 (104) 0.62 (22)

Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Cyrus Gray (75 / 389 yds / 1 TD)
Passing Jerrod Johnson (194-326 / 2,435 yds / 21 TD / 10 Int)
Receiving Ryan Tannehill (55 rec. / 844 yds / 5 TD)
Tackles Matt Featherston (94)
Sacks Von Miller (3.5)
Interceptions Trent Hunter (3)

A Few Things

  1. Young Defense: The defense returns seven players, and although the Aggies weren't great defensively (a lot of teams were in the Big 12, including your Red Raiders) I think there's always something to be said for experience and as a team with good talent, that experience eventually pays off. The nice thing about the TAMU defense is that the Aggies aren't having to replace an entire unit (i.e. defensive line, linebacker, and secondary), which give the some consistency to this unit. Perhaps the biggest need for this unit is to force more turnovers. The offense could do a better job of holding onto the ball, but defensively, the Aggies probably need to force the issue a bit and with second year defensive coordinator, Joe Kines, I think that will eventually happen.
  2. Rushing Duo: Returning running back Cyrus Gray and true freshman Christine Michael should prove to be a formidable rushing duo. Gray didn't necessarily light the world on fire last year (75/363/1 TD), behind incumbent Mike Goodson, but he did finish just under 5 yards per attempt. Michael is being touted as one of the top freshman in the country and despite the contempt for the Aggies, don't dismiss the fact that they do have talented players and Michael should be one of them.
  3. Building a Line: The Aggies return four starters from last year, replacing their right tackle, and most of these guys were fairly young. Again, the concept that although the line wasn't very efficient last year, only 2.91 yards rushing and giving up 39 sacks (good for 115th in the nation) last year there's the potential for improvement. Of those players returning, OG Lee Grimes will be a senior, C Kevin Matthews will be a senior, OG Evan Eike will be a sophomore, and OT Michael Shumard will be a senior, so it appears that right now, TAMU will need to replace at least two starters next year.
  4. Receiving Threats: TAMU returns their top three receiving threats from last year, and I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I really like both of the Aggies' wideouts, Ryan Tannehill (55/844/5 TD) and Jeff Fuller (50/630/9 TD). Not to mention, TE Jamie McCoy had a pretty good year, catching 43 passes for 500 yards and 5 TD's.
  5. Getting to the QB: Getting pressure on the quarterback, including sacks and tackles for a loss, is a big problem for the Aggies. TAMU only mustered 16 sacks for the year in 2008, which was good for 100th in the nation. The bad part is that the Aggies return Von Miller, but lose three of the top four pass rushers in Cyril Obiozor, Danny Gorrer and Johnathan Baston. That's 7 of TAMU's 16 sacks for the year gone due to graduation.
  6. Pressure on Johnson: Personally, I like Jerrod Johnson at quarterback for the Aggies and think that he's a pretty good quarterback. When it was known that WR Ryan Tannehill was going to push Johnson at QB, I wasn't sure if this as the best use of Tannehill's talents, especially after seeing him catch 5 passes for 104 yards against Texas Tech. I don't know that I know Mike Sherman, but I can understand the concept of needing to push players at every position. This is something that Mike Leach often does, which is make it known that his starting quarterback is being pushed by the backup, although most of us know that there's little chance of the backup having much of a chance. It's artificial pressure, but I get the feeling that this can affect the player. In any event, I have no doubt that Tannehill is a talented QB, he seems like the kind of guy that is good at just about anything, but I think it would take a monumental push from Tannehill to unseat the incumbent, Jerrod Johnson.