#12 Texas A&M Football 2019 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies
Overall Rank: #12
#5 SEC
Texas A&M Logo
Year one of the Jimbo Fisher era got off to a good start as Texas A&M won nine games and took national champions Clemson to the wire in the second week of the 2018 season. The Aggies pulled off a dramatic 74-72 win over LSU and crushed NC State in the Gator Bowl to give them plenty of confidence heading into 2019. The recruiting trail has also served Texas A&M well and they are doing a nice job of bringing in high level talent to College Station so far.
2018 Record: 9-4, 5-3
2018 Bowl: Gator Bowl vs. NC State (52-13)
Coach: Jimbo Fisher (9-4 at Texas A&M, 92-27 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Dickey
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Elko
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Kellen Mond, QB, 474 yards
Passing: Kellen Mond, QB, 3,107 yards
Receiving: Quartney Davis, WR, 585 yards
Tackles: Justin Madibuke, DT, 40
Sacks: Justin Madibuke, DT, 5.5
Interceptions: Three players tied with 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Jashaun Corbin, WR Camron Buckley, WR Jhamon Ausbon, LT Dan Moore Jr., LG. Jared Hocker, C Ryan McCollum, RT Carson Green, CB Charles Oliver, CB Debione Renfro, S leon O’Neal, Jr., K Seth Small, P Braden Mann
Key Losses: RB Traveyon Williams, C Erik McCoy, TE Jace Sternberger, S Donovan Wilson, LB, Otaro Alaka, LB Tyrel Dodson, DE  Kingsley Keke, LB Landis Durham
Kellen Mond is back at quarterback and should take a nice step forward in his second year of playing under Coach Fisher and offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey. Mond, threw for 3,107 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a sophomore. The big thing for Mond moving forward will be to take care of the football and make the run of the mill play along with the spectacular one. Quartney Davis caught 45 passes for 585 yards and seven touchdowns and is the leading returning wide receiver. Camron Buckley and Jhamon Ausbon will need to take their games up a notch to give Mond more weapons to use in 2019. Jashaun Corbin will be the next man up at running back with the task of replacing Traveyon Williams, who rushed for a school record 1,760 yards in 2018.
Four starters return along the offensive line led by Dan Moore Jr., Carson Green, Jared Hocker, and Ryan McCollum and their experience should set the offense up to improve even more in 2019.
There is a lot of work to do for defensive coordinator Mike Elko heading into 2019. The bulk of the front seven has to be replaced as only defensive tackle Justin Madibuke returns this season. Madibuke picked up 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss and should only see those numbers go up.  Michael Clemons will be a player to watch at defensive end if he is fully recovered from his foot injury that cost him the 2018 season. The secondary is experienced as Debione Renfro, Charles Oliver, and Derrick Tucker are all back but they need to create more turnovers and cut down on the amount of  passing yards allowed per game as the aggies surrendered 253.2 yards per game, which ranked 98th in the country last season. Seth Small and Braden Mann are back at kicker and punter, respectively, and the Aggies will need more consistency from Small. Mann won the Ray Guy Award last season and is a huge weapon that can tilt field position in Texas A&M’s favor on a regular basis.
The Bottom Line:
Texas State visits on August 31st to start off the 2019 season which should get the Aggies off to a nice start. Week two will be the return trip to Clemson in a rematch of what was a barnburner in College Station where the Aggies lost 28-26 to the Tigers. On October 12th, Texas A&M will get a shot at Alabama in Kyle Field where they look to close the gap against the Crimson Tide after losing 45-23 in Tuscaloosa last year. The final two games of the year are going to be a challenge as the Aggies will travel to play Georgia and LSU and that two-game stretch will keep Texas A&M from winning ten regular season games in 2019. However, this program is set up nicely for ten plus win seasons starting in 2020 as they should have enough quality, competitive depth to hang with Alabama and Georgia by then.
Projected Bowl:  Citrus Bowl
2018 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 219.0 (21st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 252.6 (44, 5)
Total Offense: 471.6 (15, 4)
Scoring Offense: 36.0 (19, 4)
Rushing Defense: 95.2 (3, 2)
Pass Defense: 253.2 (98, 12)
Total Defense: 348.4 (32, 7)
Scoring Defense: 25.3 (47, 8)
Turnover Margin: -0.54 (110, 13)
Sacks: 2.85 (20, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.69 (102, 13)
Madness 2020 NFL Draft Rankings:
#40 Kendrick Rogers
Madness 2019 Recruit Rankings:
#10 Kenyon Green
#26 DeMarvin Leal
#57 Brian Williams
#64 Eric Young
#74 Baylor Cupp
#75 Dylan Wright
#102 Demani Richardson
#172 Isaiah Spiller