Texas A&M Football: Coach Sumlin's Holiday Wishlist
Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin lead the Aggies to an 8-4 record during the regular season and an invitation to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Sumlin could use a few extra presents under his Christmas tree in order to get the program where he wants it to be.
The Aggies are in the second year of the process of Sumlin building them into an Southeastern Conference power. They are still missing multiple pieces to the puzzle.
You win games in the SEC by winning the war in the trenches. The Aggies were simply not good enough in the front seven of their defense to compete with the elite teams in the SEC in 2013.
This is a look at what Sumlin would like to see under his tree on Christmas morning.
A Bowl Win
The Aggies are 8-4 on the season but are coming off consecutive losses to LSU and Missouri. A win in their bowl game would give the Aggies some momentum heading into the offseason and would give head coach Kevin Sumlin 20 wins in two years at A&M.
The Aggies are currently ranked No. 21 in the country and will be facing the No. 24 Duke Blue Devils. A win over Duke would give the Aggies their first win over a team that was ranked when they played the Aggies.
It would also give A&M their third straight bowl victory. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the only game on television on New Year's Eve. That means that all the college football fans in the country will be watching the Aggies.
That is a great opportunity for the Aggies to expand their brand and get their name in front of more recruits. There are plenty of top football recruits in Georgia, and the Aggies winning a bowl in Atlanta can only help recruiting in that area.
Some Defensive Recruits
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have assembled a very good 2014 recruiting class up to this point. The Aggies could still use a few more recruits on defense.
There are plenty of top recruits from the state of Texas who are still uncommitted like Tony Brown, Jamal Adams and Edwin Freeman. A surprise commitment from one of these recruits would be a nice present under the Christmas tree for Sumlin.
If the Aggies could land one or two of these recruits, it would make for some very happy holidays for Sumlin and his staff.
Explosive Offensive Performance in Chick-fil-A Bowl
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin made a change on his coaching staff when he stripped Clarence McKinney of his offensive coordinator duties, and named quarterback coach Jake Spavital as the play-caller.
The Aggies finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation in total offense. When injuries mounts on quarterback Johnny Manziel at the end of the season, the offense struggled and only scored 31 total points in the last two games.
The Aggies running backs only had six carries in the LSU game. Sumlin felt that despite the gaudy numbers the offense put up throughout the season, a change needed to be made so he made it.
If the Aggies display an explosive offense against Duke in the bowl game then it will reaffirm Sumlin's decision. Ideally the Aggies would put up a lot of points while displaying a balanced offense.
The Texas A&M backfield is one of the deepest in the nation with Ben Malena, Trey Williams and Tra Carson all capable of being a featured back. If all three of those backs gets at least 10 touches against the Duke defense, then it will be a successful offensive day for the Aggies.
Solid Defensive Showing in the Bowl Game
The Aggies had one of the worst defenses in the country in 2013. They simply have to improve in 2014 if they want to compete for an SEC title.
The Aggies played 10 true freshmen on defense in 2013. After 12 games of experience, they cannot really be considered freshmen anymore. The freshmen and the rest of the defense will have a month to prepare for a Duke offense that is averaging 408 yards and 31 points per game.
Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder needs to show the fans some improvement on the defensive side of the ball. If the Aggie defense can hold the Duke offense in check, it will give the defense a little boost heading into the offseason.
Snyder could use a solid defensive performance to show the fans that he can still get it done. The defensive players could use a boost of confidence as they head into offseason workouts. It would also show recruits who are watching on television that the Aggies can play good defense.