#8 Texas A&M Football 2013 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #8
#4 SEC

Texas A&M Team Page#8 Texas A&M Football 2013 PreviewBuy Texas A&M Football Tickets

The dream season the Aggies had in 2012 may not have provided as much momentum as the faithful in College Station would have liked.  After leading the football program to 11 wins for the first time since 1998, head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have had to deal with a myriad of off-the-field issues.  Heisman trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel is at the forefront of the distractions whirling around the program.  Between his unbecoming off-season behavior and the motor vehicle accident that killed teammate Polo Manukainiu, there is a lot going on.  Will the Aggies talent be able to overcome some harsh realities?

2012 Record: 11-2, 6-2
2012 Bowl: AT&T Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma (W 41-13)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (11-2 at Texas A&M, 46-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Clarence McKinney
Defensive Coordinator: Mark Snyder

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Johnny Manziel, QB, 1,410 yards
Passing: Johnny Manziel, QB, 3,706 yards
Receiving: Mike Evans, WR, 1,105 yards
Tackles: Steven Jenkins, LB, 79
Sacks: Steven Jenkins, LB, 2.0
Interceptions: Deshazor Everett, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Ben Molena, WR Malcome Kennedy, OL Jake Matthews, OL Jarvis Harrison, LB Donnie Baggs, S Howard Matthews, S Toney Hurd

Key Losses: OT Luke Joekel, DL Demontre Moore, DB Steven Terrell, LB Johnathan Stewart, WR Ryan Swope, P Ryan Epperson

Offense, offense, offense.  This team led the SEC in every major offensive category.  Such potency is the reason they were the only team to knock off Alabama last season.  A&M pretty much had a one man wrecking crew.  Manziel, the first freshman to ever win the Heisman, did it all for the offense.  He rushed for over 1,400 yards and threw for over 3,700, only the fifth player in history to put up those numbers.  He broke Cam Newton’s SEC record for total yards of offense.  He somehow found time to throw the ball to his favorite target, Mike Evans, a young receiver looking to be even better in 2013.  They were the fourth best scoring team in the country at over 44 points per game.  They put up a staggering 558 yards per game.  It is going to be difficult for this team to put up those same numbers this season, but A&M should not be dismissed.  They also had great special teams play to win the field position game.  They were top five in the SEC in both sides of the punt game.

Defensively, the Aggies could use some work.  They were not all bad.  Their rushing defense was decent at 137 yards per game.  They tended to keep teams out of the end zone when it mattered.  Where they really got burned was in the passing game.  They were third-to-last in the conference in defending pass catchers.  At 250 yards per game, the aggies gave up 75 more yards per game than conference leading Alabama.  That is a huge chunk of yardage going against them.  They may not have the ability to outscore everyone this year.  The back end of the defense is going to have to tighten up.  They lose a lot of their best players on that side of the ball, so they will have to respond accordingly.  The only thing the offense did poorly was turn the ball over.  The Aggies had a negative turnover ratio, which was magnified by the fact that the defense did not create as many takeaways as the opponent did.  That will have to improve.

The Bottom Line:
There are a whole lot of questions coming out of College Station and not a lot of answers right now.  Objective observers would have to like what they see in the A&M football team.  The pieces are there for them to make another excellent run at a high win total and an SEC championship.  The million dollar question is will Manziel be allowed to play?  If Manziel is eligible to play – and that’s a big if – then anything is possible with this team offensively.  Without him, they are not nearly as dangerous of a team.  We will know a lot within the first few weeks how this team responds to a tumultuous offseason.  With their minds right, they can once again win 10 games.

Projected Bowl: Capital One Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 242.08 (11th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 316.46 (14, 1)
Total Offense: 558.54 (3, 1)
Scoring Offense: 44.46 (4, 1)
Rushing Defense: 139.54 (35, 7)
Pass Defense: 250.69 (86, 12)
Total Defense: 390.23 (57, 9)
Scoring Defense: 21.77 (26, 7)
Turnover Margin: -.38 (86, 11)
Sacks: 2.38 (36, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.0 (66, 9)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#6 Jake Matthews
#47 Johnny Manziel
#81 Deshazor Everett
#91 Mike Evans

Madness 2013 Football Recruit Rankings:
#19 Ricky Seals-Jones
#39 Isaiah Golden
#40 Derrick Griffin
#56 Justin Manning
#147 Ishmael Wilson
#180 Sebastian LaRue
#184 Noel Ellis
#186 Laquvionte Gonzalez
#193 Daeshon Hall
#200 Kameron Miles
#208 Kohl Stewart


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