Texas A&M Aggies vs. South Carolina State Bulldogs: Complete Game Preview

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

Texas A&M Aggies vs. South Carolina State Bulldogs: Complete Game Preview

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    The Texas A&M football team will take on the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Saturday. It is the third game of the season for the Aggies as they work their way through the non-conference schedule.

    South Carolina State is the first of two FCS schools that A&M will face in 2012. The Aggies play Sam Houston State later in the year.

    This game is another step in the process for the Aggies to qualify for a bowl game. The Aggies have two FCS teams on their schedule which means they have to win seven games to be bowl eligible.

    The goal for the Aggies in this game will be to get a convincing win, avoid injuries and get some of the younger players as much experience as possible.

    South Carolina State will just collect its paycheck and try to get out of Aggieland without too many injuries.

    This is a complete preview of the matchup between the Aggies and the Bulldogs.

Game-Day Information

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    Who: South Carolina State Bulldogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies

    When: 6 PM CDT

    Where: College Station, TX

    Stadium: Kyle Field

    TV: FSN

    Radio: WTAW 1620 AM, Sirius Satellite

    Rankings: SCSU UR Texas A&M UR

    Records: SCSU 1-2 Texas A&M 1-1

Texas A&M Depth Chart

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    OFFENSE

    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

     

    DEFENSE

    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.

South Carolina State Statistical Leaders

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    Passing: Richard Cue, 39-82-5, 458 yards, 3 touchdowns

    Rushing: Cue, 29 attempts, 129 yards, 4.4 ave; Jalen Simmons, 40 attempts, 126 yards, 3.2 ave, 1 TD

    Receiving: Caleb Davis, 15 catches, 155 yard,s 10.3 ave; Lennel Elmore, 8 catches, 151 yards, 18.3 ave, 1 TD

    Defensive Leaders:

    Joe Thomas: 25 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks

    Justin Hughes: 22 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks

What Happened to the Aggies Last Week?

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    The Texas A&M football team blew out the SMU Mustangs 48-3 in Dallas. The win evened the Aggies' record at 1-1 on the season and was the first of the Kevin Sumlin era at A&M.

    Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel had a breakout game passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with 124 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Manziel set A&M records for most passing yardage by a freshman and most total yardage by a freshman with 418. 

    For his efforts, Manziel was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week.

    Manziel's performance overshadowed the breakout game of his redshirt freshman classmate Mike Evans. The 6'5" receiver from Galveston Ball High School caught six passes for 123 yards against the Mustangs. He had the first 100-yard receiving game for an Aggie in 2012.

    Damontre Moore had another great game with six tackles and two sacks. He is quickly becoming one of the best pass-rushing defensive ends in the nation.

    The Aggies defense limited June Jone's run-and-shoot offense at SMU to 309 total yards and three points. It was the second solid defensive effort in a row from defensive coordinator Mark Snyder's crew.

What Happened to the Bulldogs Last Week?

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    South Carolina State lost to No. 24 Arizona 56-0 in Tuscon, AZ on Saturday. It was the second straight loss to for the Bulldogs who slipped to 1-2 o the season. 

    The SCSU defense allowed Arizona to run up 647 total yards of offense along with 40 first downs. The Wildcats defense limited the Bulldogs to 154 total yards of offense. It was a blowout victory for Arizona in every phase of the game.

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

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    A win for Texas A&M is expected against South Carolina State. This is a pay game where big programs pay the smaller programs to come and be a sacrificial lamb in a home game. A win for the Aggies will mean they are one win closer to the magic number of seven required to make a bowl in 2012.

    A win for South Carolina State would qualify as the biggest upset in its program history. It would make national news and would be the story of the week in college football, much like the Louisiana-Monroe victory over Arkansas.

    If South Carolina State won this game, it would be the type of game that alumni would talk about for decades.

Key Player for the Aggies

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    Christine Michael violated team rules and was suspended for the SMU game. He ran tough against Florida but gained only 33 yards on 13 carries.

    Michael is coming off an ACL injury in 2011 and has not yet proven that he has completely recovered. If he struggles to run the ball against SCSU, then it will show everyone that is still not 100 percent. 

    Michael should be able to run through the SCSU defense with ease. It should be a game he can use to pad his stats. If he struggles, then it does not bode well for the rest of the 2012 season.

Key Player for the Bulldogs

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    Quarterback Richard Cue is the Bulldogs' main offensive threat. In 2011 he passed for 900 yards and rushed for 514 yards in the Bulldogs' option offense.

    The Aggies will have to contain him in order to keep the Bulldogs offense from eating up the clock. The Aggies struggled a little to contain Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel in the running game. It should be interesting to see how Mark Snyder defends against Cue.

    With games against running quarterbacks like Tyler Russel and James Franklin coming up, the South Carolina State game should offer a preview of how the Ags can handle a running threat at quarterback.

Aggies Will Win If...

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    The team bus makes it to the stadium. This is should be the easiest game on the Aggies' schedule in 2012. This is a "get right" game for the A&M football team.

    It should be a chance for the backups to get some quality minutes and the coaches to get a look at some of the players on the bottom of the depth chart.

    It should be a feel-good victory for the Aggies. Much like the SMU game, the parents of Aggies players on the second and third team should get a chance to see their kids play.

The Bulldogs Will Win If...

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    The Aggies commit turnovers on the first seven or eight offensive possessions. The goal for the Bulldogs should be to get out of this game with minimal injuries.

    This should be a blowout victory for A&M. SCSU will collect its check and move on to its conference schedule. Games against Arizona and Texas A&M provide the SCSU athletic department with millions of dollars which support every sport.

    It is possible that SCSU could win this game, but not likely.

Prediction

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    Prediction: Texas A&M 56, SCSU 6

    This game will be a blowout win for the Aggies. Manziel should have enough time to go through his reads and spread the ball around. After a slow start against SMU, expect the A&M offense to have a two touchdown lead after the first quarter.

    It should be interesting to see what the coaches work on in this game on offense. It is basically a glorified scrimmage before Arkansas comes to town in a week.