Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin spoke heavily on the Mustangs' offensive and defensive abilities during the Aggies' weekly Tuesday press conference.
"I think right now they lead the country in completions per game. They have two receivers who are in the top three in the country in receptions per game. We’re going to have to defend the whole field. They’ve got a veteran quarterback who was highly recruited out of high school. He's still very talented. He's getting better," he said.
"They'll have some new wrinkles and some new stuff. It’ll be another challenge for our defense because it’s different than what we saw last week. We're going to have to defend the whole field—vertically and sideline to sideline—because they are going to stretch us out to make us play in space."
As for the A&M defense, senior nickelback Toney Hurd Jr. said the Aggie defense needs to become more independent of A&M's potent offensive attack.
"Our offense is one of the best offenses in the country. But as a defensive player, you can’t depend on the offense. As a defense, we should go out there and try to pitch shutouts," Hurd Jr. said.
"I feel slowly but surely we’re getting better and we’re getting closer to our goal, but it will take time. Like I said earlier, that was our first time actually playing all together as far as a unit and we played against the No. 1 team in the country. Looking at our defense, I feel that we have a lot of guys that are hungry and will be getting better in the coming games."
Senior running back Ben Malena said the SMU defense looks to attack gaps and holes, hoping to cause inadvertent turnovers.
“They play ball very well. One thing they do is have all 11 guys run to the ball. They force turnovers, they have really good linebacker play and they come downhill,” he said.