By Zach Walker
Saturday – September 21 – 6 PM
Kyle Field – College Station
It’s going to be a different week of preparation for the Aggies, coming off of their game of the year against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Aggies lost, but only by a touchdown. Manziel might be a lot of things off the field, but on the field he’s crazy talented. A couple of times Alabama defenders had him in their grasp, and he just slipped right through their fingers. The old “trying to nail Jell-o to the wall” adage has never been more on point than when referencing Manziel. But the Aggies weren’t very good at stopping Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, who threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns and was extremely efficient. A&M’s pass defense is exploitable, and SMU is a throwing team, so it could get very interesting.
But, let’s face it; if the Alabama defense can’t bring down Manziel, I’m not liking the Mustangs’ chances at bringing him to the ground. Mike Evans is a monster/beast/pass catching typhoon. A 6’5” 225 pound, sophomore, who had a crazy game, only seven catches but for 279 yards and a touchdown. If ever Kenneth Acker wanted a game to show his stuff, it’s going to be trying to contain Evans. The Aggies aren’t slamming the ball right now; Manziel was the leading rusher in the ‘Bama game.
Garrett Gilbert needs to keep his cool and build off of that final, game-winning drive against the Montana State Bobcats, where he was calm, cool, and in charge of what he was doing. Gilbert won’t have the crowd behind him this time though, he’ll have an Aggie crowd that will want to take out their frustrations on the Mustangs, and I’m not doubting the Aggies players wanting to get back to their winning ways against SMU.
Matchup of the Game: Johnny Manziel rushing the football vs Stephon Sanders: I’m not going to say that it’s up to a linebacker to take a quarterback for a whole game, but Manziel on the ground is all about using your angles and running like he’s late for work. Stephon Sanders is a quick linebacker who could be in the face of Manziel when he rolls out and could come up big on tackles by chasing down Manziel. Sanders is going to need help to take the legs out from under Manziel, Hayden Greenbauer and Jay Scott are going to have big roles in this game because Manziel uses the middle of the field to do his bidding.
Prediction: SMU 20 – Texas A&M 45. Texas A&M is just genuinely on a different level than the Mustangs. Tougher, bigger name conference with more exposure. Bigger school, more serious about football, and they’ll almost across the board, have more talent at every position on the field than SMU. I think Head Coach June Jones will have his team ready to play, and prepared to the T. But A&M is just better than SMU. Sucks, but that’s college football.