Texas A&M-Georgia: Big 12 and SEC Middle Tier Teams Collide In Bowl Game

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IDecember 10, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jerrod Johnson #1 of the Texas A&M Aggies scrambles for a gain against the Texas Longhorns in the second half at Kyle Field on November 26, 2009 in College Station, Texas. The Longhorns defeated the Aggies 49-39 (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images)
Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images

I guess ESPN feels Texas A&M has no chance in the Independence Bowl against Georgia, because the only thing mentioned in their preview about the Aggies is how they last beat Oklahoma State in Shreveport 28 years ago.

I'll provide the maroon and white side of the story .

Coming off a noble performance against Texas where they pushed the national championship participants to the brink of an upset, Texas A&M will be looking to put a positive note on an otherwise disappointing season.

There were little expectations coming into this season, other than Head Coach Mike Sherman showing some progress. But while he improved on the 2008 4-8 record, the season could hardly be called successful.

Although he beat Texas Tech in Lubbock and pushed Texas to the limit, there were still four embarrassing losses.

Three of these losses were blowouts to Arkansas, Kansas State , and Oklahoma. The fourth was a one-point loss to Colorado after holding an 11-point second half lead.

They have also generally struggled away from Kyle Field this year, going 1-4 on the road.

The key to winning for the Aggies will be rushing the football. In every win this year, they have rushed for over 200 yards. In all losses, they rushed for less than 200.

It seems pretty cut and dry, no?

Georgia usually follows the prototypical SEC team in that they have a great defense and good rushing attack.

This year, their defense fell by the wayside and head coach Mark Richt was forced to fire his defensive coordinator and two other assistants.

Something will have to give, as Georgia has the 30th ranked defense and Texas A&M has the fifth ranked offense in terms of yards per game.

Jerrod Johnson is one of the premier individual talents in college football, as he averages over 300 yards per game by himself. He can score with the best of them and takes care of the ball. He has 36 total touchdowns compared to only six interceptions.

Interestingly enough, the Aggies might be able to avoid their inefficiencies on defense this game and outscore the Bulldogs. The Aggies have one of the worst defenses in the NCAA, but the Bulldogs only have the 73rd ranked offense.

A&M already had one test against an SEC team on neutral territory and failed miserably despite taking an early 10-point lead. Arkansas ripped off 30 unanswered points in route to a 47-19 win at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

If fans are looking for an offensive showcase in bowl season, the Independence Bowl will not disappoint.

My Prediction: 31-27 Aggies