The Aggieland Fix: Two Keys To The Upcoming Season
I was going to break down the Aggie schedule much like everyone does for every team. While researching Alabama-Birmingham however, I decided that it just does not matter.
There are ultimately two points which will make break the season for the Ags. Of course these points can be made for every team in the country, but for the Texas Aggies, they are paramount. First, is offensive line improvement. While the top position athletes from Texas and elsewhere are drawn to the Oklahomas, Texases, and Floridas of the country, few make the wise choice of becoming a Texas A&M Aggie. This should not be the case for offensive linemen.
Rural Texas has never been short of humungous talent, literally. A&M's wheelhouse right? What has changed in recent years in College Station? Why are they not producing top ten lines year in and year out? The 2009 campaign should be different. They were successful in turning one of the most prolific high school quarterbacks in Texas state history into a run-first, pass-if-you-can QB in Stephen McGee. Luckily he had the legs to run away, and not die! Johnson has shown his ability to throw the rock...but can he run? Maybe he wont have to this year.
Of the ten linemen, two in each of the five positions, not counting tight ends, the average weight is 304 lbs. The average height is 6'4” - size should not be the problem. Coach Buddy Wyatt does have his hands full though. The line gave up 39 sacks for a loss of nearly 300 yards. The Aggies only rushed for slighty over 1000 yards, averaging 88 dismal yards a game. They also averaged about 250 passing yards a game. That is not going to cut it playing Big 12 football! I can tell you this...the entire team, on any team, lives and dies by the offensive line.
My other point of contention is secondary to the offensive line problems but hardly less important. Texas A&M has rarely wowed anyone with their prolific offenses. I haven't verified, but I'd bet they've never led the country in a major offensive statistic. They have however produced some great teams in the past, but they did so in Aggieland with their defense.
The Wrecking Crew is known nationwide as some of the most tenacious defenses to play the game. Teams were once terrified to step onto Kyle Field, not only because of the atmosphere, but because they knew a long ice bath was coming. Recently this has not been the case. While the 12th Man continues to post, the defense remains absent. Where's the attitude? Where's the assurance that whomever chose to touch that ball would have to deal with getting their head ripped from neck?
My solution starts from the top. Defensive athletes can be molded into a cohesive defensive powerhouse. There needs to be intensity from the sidelines I'm not sure they're getting with Coach Kines. I don't discredit what he has done over his career. He's sustained a long and successful one for sure, but let's be honest here. Kines is 65-years-old, plain and simple. How can he relate to a 19-year-old kid? Can he get in the face of a 6'4" 300lbs. D-lineman and scare the sh*t out of him? Possibly, but I don't believe it. I could be wrong of course, but show me on the field.
Simple... O line and Defense.
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