#19 Texas A&M Football 2014 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #19
#6 SEC

Texas A&M Team Page#19 Texas A&M Football 2014 PreviewBuy Texas A&M Football Tickets

It is now life after Manziel in College Station.  Kevin Sumlin and his team will no longer have the spotlight all over them now that one of the most intriguing players in recent college football history has moved on to the NFL.  He now has a roster full of skill players that do not quite have the experience and the electricity that last year’s squad has – at least not yet.  He still obviously has a ton of talent (they are ranked 19th in our poll), but in a lot of ways this team is unproven.  Sumlin has a history of winning, so it will be fascinating to see what he does with his post-Manziel Aggies.

2013 Record: 9-4, 4-4
2013 Bowl: Chick-fil-A Bowl (W 52-48)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (20-6 at Texas A&M, 55-23 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: James Spavital
Defensive Coordinator: Mark Snyder

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Trey Williams, QB, 407 yards
Passing: Kenny Hill, QB, 183 yards
Receiving: Malcome Kennedy, WR, 658 yards
Tackles: Howard Matthews, DB, 90
Sacks: Shaan Washington, LB, 3.0
Interceptions: Howard Matthews, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: DB/KR De’Vante Harris, DB Deshazor Everett

Key Losses: QB Johnny Manziel, WR Mike Evans, RB Ben Malena, DB Nate Askew

Last year this team was essentially unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball.  Manziel was scintillating with the ball in his hands.  He could create something out of nothing on any given down.  His favorite target, Mike Evans, was a man on the outside who could stretch the field and snatch the ball out of the air.  Manziel’s unit averaged over 350 yards of passing offense per game, which was a dominating number last year.  The next closest team in the SEC was nearly 50 yards per game off that mark.  This season, with no clear starter as of yet, the direction of this offense is a bit unknown.  However, Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback recruit, are athletic enough to maintain a powerful offensive scheme.  The A&M offensive line has also been strong for the last several years.  While their quarterback has been able to run around, they have still kept defenders off of him with great success.  That aspect of the game will be vital with a new starter this season.
For as outstanding as the offense was last season, the defense was just about the opposite.  The 2013 version of A&M was a stark contrast from the normal identity of the SEC.  A porous defense like the Aggies had last year is usually unheard of.  They were dead last in the conference last year in total defense and scoring defense.  For any other team, finishing last in those two categories would spell disaster.  Yet somehow this team still found a way to win nine games.  Their star power outshined the holes on defense last season.  They were just able to outscore people.  It will be difficult to duplicate a nine-win season if their defense continues to be poor.  Unfortunately, the defense has lost a lot of starters.  It may be up to the offense to pull wins out for this team after all, despite not having proven commodities at quarterback.  

The Bottom Line:
The hype around the program the last few years will not be there this year.  However, a lot of eyes will still be on Texas A&M to check and see how they are handling Life After Johnny.  There are a ton of questions surrounding this team entering the season.  If we know anything about Kevin Sumlin though, it is that he finds ways to win and he squeezes every bit of talent out of the men he puts under center.  He and his staff will find a way to set his team up for success.  The defense remains an issue.  It will be tough for them to make noise in the SEC if their defense does not step up.  Still, an eight or nine-win season is very possible.

Projected Bowl: Texas Bowl

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 185.1 (45th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 353.3 (7, 1)
Total Offense: 538.4 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 44.2 (5, 1)
Rushing Defense: 222.3 (110, 14)
Pass Defense: 136.5 (88, 12)
Total Defense: 475.8 (109, 14)
Scoring Defense: 32.2 (95, 14)
Turnover Margin: 0.08 (56, 8)
Sacks: 1.62 (90, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1.62 (39, 5)

Madness 2015 NFL Draft Rankings:
#2 Cedric Ogbuehi
#38 Deshazor Everett

Madness 2014 Recruit Rankings:
#3 Myles Garrett
#10 Devante Noil
#11 Kyle Allen
#59 Nick Harvey
#141 Qualen Cunningham
#146 Frank Iheanacho
#174 DeShawn Washington
#196 Otaro Alaka


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