Texas A&M Football: What Aggies Must to Do Compete in Loaded SEC

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies throws the ball against the Florida Gators at Kyle Field on September 8, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Texas A&M's first SEC game showed that it has a lot of work to do to compete in the best conference in the nation.

The 12th-man advantage at home field with the College Gameday crew could not help the team overcome Florida. The Gators scored the last 13 points of the game to leave town with a 20-17 win.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost for Texas A&M. This is a very young team, and there is plenty of time to improve. It is also nearly impossible to run the table in the SEC, so there is plenty of time for the team to make up for the loss. However, there are some things that need to be corrected to have a successful season.


Improve the Run Game

Texas A&M has routinely been known for its offense. The program has changed players and coaches, but the Aggies are usually near the top of the list in total yards. New coach Kevin Sumlin looks to continue that after running the No. 1 offense in the nation last year with Houston, mostly with the pass.

However, you need balance to compete in the SEC. Defenses are too good to try to beat them with a one-dimensional attack.

Against Florida, Texas A&M was only able to average 3.5 yards per carry. Christine Michael has had a mixed career, but the senior needs to takeover and lead this offense and take pressure off Johnny Manziel.

The freshman quarterback has a lot of talent, but he will not be able to do it all himself.


Avoid Mistakes

The Aggies did a good job of not turning the ball over against Florida. For a freshman quarterback playing in his first game, this is nothing to scoff at.

Still, the team had nine penalties for 78 yards. These are the type of mistakes that will get them into serious trouble against LSU and Alabama.

For Texas A&M to be able to compete with teams with superior talent, it must play almost flawless football.


Stop the Run

The Southeastern Conference prides itself on the run game. Alabama is continuing its run of elite running backs with Eddie Lacy, while LSU has a four-headed monster of talented players in the backfield.

Florida did not run efficiently, but the Gators were still able to get 142 yards on the ground. Running back Mike Gillislee finished with 83 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 carries. If a senior who has never topped 350 yards in a season can do this, just imagine what some of the other players in the SEC will do.

However, if the defensive front line can hold their position while wrapping up tackles, this team has the talent to stay competitive in the highly competitive SEC West.