Texas A&M Aggies vs. SMU Mustangs: Complete Game Preview

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2012

Texas A&M Aggies vs. SMU Mustangs: Complete Game Preview

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    The Texas A&M Football team will travel to Dallas to take on the SMU Mustangs at Ford Field on Saturday. It will be the Aggies' second game of the season and their first non-conference game.

    The SMU game is an important one for the Aggies because it will offer them the opportunity to to play in front of Metroplex recruits.

    For the Aggies, the game offers a chance to get the bad taste of their mouth after the loss to Florida. For the Mustangs, it offers a chance to validate the progress that has been made on the Hilltop.

    A win over the Aggies would be a statement win for the SMU program, and all that June Jones has accomplished since taking over as the head coach. 

    This is a preview of everything you need to know about the matchup between the Aggies and the Mustangs.

Game-Day Information

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    Who: Texas A&M Aggies vs. SMU Mustangs

    When: Saturday 2:30 CDT

    Where: Dallas, TX

    Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium

    TV: FSN

    Radio: WTAW 1620 AM, Sirius Satellite, KTCK 1310 AM, 104.1 FM

    Rankings: Texas A&M UR SMU UR

    Records: Texas A&M 0-1 SMU 1-1

Depth Chart for Texas A&M

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    QB: Johnnie Manziel

    Backup: Matt Joeckel


    WR: Mike Evans

    Backup Derel Walker


    LT: Luke Joeckel

    Backup: Germain Ifedi


    LG: Jarvis Harrison

    Backup: Shep Klinke


    C: Patrick Lewis

    Backup: Mike Matthews


    RG: Cedric Ogbuehi

    Backup: Ben Compton


    RT: Jake Matthews

    Backup: Joseph Cheek


    TE: Michael Lamothe

    Backup: Nehemiah Hicks


    WR: Uzoma Nwachukwu

    Backup: Sabian Holmes


    WR: Ryan Swope

    Backup: Malcome Kennedy


    WR: Kenric McNeal

    Backup: Thomas Johnson


    TB: Christine Michael

    Backup: Ben Malena



    DE: Gavin Standbury

    Backup: Julien Obioha


    NG: Kirby Ennis

    Backup: Jonathan Mathis


    DT: Spencer Nealy

    Backup: Ivan Robinson


    Rush: Damontre Moore

    Backup: Tyrone Taylor


    WLB: Steve Jenkins

    Backup: Donnie Baggs


    MLB: Jonathan Stewart

    Backup: Justin Bass


    SLB: Sean Porter

    Backup: Michael Richardson


    CB: Deshazor Everett

    Backup: Dustin Harris


    CB: De'Vante Harris

    Backup: Tremaine Jacobs


    BS: Steven Campbell

    Backup: Johntel Franklin


    FS: Steven Terrell

    Backup: Tony Hurd Jr.

Depth Chart for SMU

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    QB: Garrett Gilbert

    Backup: Conner Preston

    RB: Zach Line

    Backup: Rishaad Wimbley

    LT: Ben Gottschalk

    Backup: Kris Weeks

    LG: Jordan Free

    Backup: Chewy Chamagua

    C: Taylor Lasecki

    Backup: Ashton Duhe

    RG: Blake McJunkin

    Backup: Sam Rice

    RT: Bryan Collins

    Backup: Seaver Myers

    XWR: Der’rikk Thompson

    Backup: Gehrig Dieter

    HWR: Darius Johnson

    Backup: Ryan Walker

    YWR: Jeremy Johnson

    Backup: Cole Loftin

    ZWR: Keenan Holman

    Backup: Arrius Holleman



    LDE Kevin Grenier

    Backup: Zach Wood

    NG: Torlan Pittman

    Backup: Aaron Davis


    RDE: Margus Hunt

    Backup: Beau Barnes


    SLB: Stephon Sanders

    Backup: Cody Worthen

    Buck LB: Cameron Rogers

    Backup: Randall Joyner

    MLB: Taylor Reed

    Backup: Kevin Pope

    WLB: Ja’Gared Davis

    Backup: Robert Seals

    Left CB: Chris Parks

    Backup: Jeremy Gray

    SS: Ryan Smith

    Backup: Daniel Roundtree

    FS: Jay Scott

    Backup: Jeremy Gray

    RCB: Kenneth Acker

    Backup: Keith Robinson

What Happened to the Aggies Last Week?

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    The Texas A&M football team lost to the No. 23 Florida Gators 20-17 at Kyle Field on Saturday in its season opener. The Aggies took a 17-10 lead into halftime but were unable to get their offense going in the second half.

    Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel had a solid debut, completing 23-of-30 passes for 173 yards and added 60 yards on the ground. He struggled to move the offense in the second half when the Gators stacked the line of scrimmage and tried to block all the running lanes.

    The defense was led by junior defensive end Damontre Moore who tallied 10 tackles with three sacks. For his efforts, Moore was named the SEC co-defensive lineman of the week.

What Happened to the Mustangs Last Week?

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    The SMU Mustangs blew out the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 52-0 at Ford Stadium in Dallas. With the win the Mustangs improved their season record to 1-0.

    The SMU defense led the way against the Lumberjacks. The Mustangs returned two interceptions for touchdowns and had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown against SFA.

    The special teams got into the scoring act when linebacker Kenneth Acker returned a blocked field goal 56 yards for a touchdown to give SMU a 21-0 halftime lead.

    The Mustangs' offense was led by quarterback Garrett Gilbert who completed 19-of-36 passes for 205 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

What a Win This Week Would Mean for the Mustangs and the Aggies

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    A win for the Mustangs would qualify as their biggest victory in years. Even though the Aggies are currently unranked, they are still a name program and someone the Mustangs have not beaten in decades.

    An SMU win would qualify as a huge upset. It would be June Jones' biggest win at SMU to date and would silence some of the grumbling from SMU alumni ever since Jones was rumored to be interested in the Arizona State job.

    A win for the Aggies would be the first win of the Sumlin era at A&M. The Aggies are expected to win this game. A win would be positive in that it is a chance for Dallas area recruits to see the Aggies win a game close to their home.

Key Player for the Aggies

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    The most important player on the field for the Aggies will once again be quarterback Johnny Manziel. A&M fans want to see how much Manziel has improved from game one to game two after the Aggie offense was shut out in the second half against Florida.

    Look for Manziel to have a big day against an SMU defense that has struggled to stop the pass against Bayor and SFA. After two games the Mustangs are allowing 385 yards passing per game.

    It should be a game where Manziel and the wide receivers can get their issues sorted out.

Key Player for the Mustangs

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    If SMU is going to have any chance to win this game, it is going to need a great performance from Garrett Gilbert. The junior quarterback from Austin seems to have suffered from some form of PTSD since losing to Alabama in the 2009 national title game.

    He transferred for SMU from Austin for a fresh start. He was handed the starting job at quarterback but has been mediocre in the Mustangs first two games.

    Gilbert is completing 55 percent of his passes for 245 yards per game and three touchdowns with three interceptions. He threw two interceptions against Baylor and one against SFA.

    If the Mustangs want to beat the Aggies, then Gilbert will have to protect the ball.

Ags Will Win If.....

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    The Aggies will beat SMU if they put the Florida loss behind them and play their own game.

    Texas A&M has a sizable talent advantage over the Mustangs. The Aggies' defensive line should feast on a rebuilt offensive line that has struggled in pass protection so far in 2012.

    The porous Mustangs secondary should be the perfect remedy for an Aggies passing game that struggled to get the ball down the field in the opener.

    The Aggies just have to come into the game focused and take care of business on the field.

The Mustangs Will Win If.....

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    SMU can win the game if the Mustangs repeat their defensive performance from SFA and force nine turnovers against the Aggies.

    SMU does not have a very good defense and its offense is inconsistent. Even with wide receiver Darius Johnson back from injury, the Mustangs cannot afford to get into a track meet with A&M.

    The only hope SMU has for a victory in this game is to create a large number of turnovers. If the Mustangs defense can set up their offense with short fields and keep the A&M offense off the field, then they have a chance to shock the Aggies.


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    Prediction: Texas A&M 48, SMU 20

    This is a "get right" game for the Aggies. The Mustangs have the unfortunate combination of a poor offensive line and a porous secondary.

    The Aggies should be able to take advantage of both in Dallas on Saturday. Expect the Aggies to run and pass the ball much better than they did against Florida. Aggies fans should see a lot of hurry-up offense and as A&M will try to run 80-90 offensive plays against the Mustangs.

    This should be a comfortable win for A&M. Do not be surprised to see Darius Johnson get a long touchdown reception against the Aggies secondary. He will play on Sundays.