Texas A&M vs. SMU preview

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The Matchup: Texas A&M at SMU

When: Saturday, September 15th

Where: Dallas, Texas

Game Time: 3:30 PM ET

What you need to know about Texas A&M: The Aggies lost their season opener a week ago against the Gators and enter the game 0-1. They really played well in the first half but need to learn how to finish the game in the second half. That will come with time and more experience.

Aggies’ redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel really showed bright spots with his legs and playmaking ability. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 173 yards last week, in addition to running 17 times for 60 yards and a touchdown. This kid is a player.

TAMU will also utilize Christine Michael and Trey Williams as the primary running backs on offense. Michael is the season veteran and Williams is the flashy freshman. It’s imperative that both stay healthy. The Aggies’ strength is at offensive line, and that’s a great place to have depth and talent.

The Aggies’ defense was very impressive last week, sacking Florida eight times. Defensive end Damontre Moore was named Co-Defensive Lineman of the week after completing three sacks. These guys can get to the quarterback in a hurry.

The Aggies were penalized nine times last Saturday, and for every ten yards in penalty yards it’s estimated the team gives up one point. Kevin Sumlin needs to clean up the penalties for this week’s game.

What you need to know about SMU: June Jones is entering his fifth year at SMU, and he leads a very pass-heavy offense for the Mustangs. SMU is 1-1 on the season, beating Stephen F. Austin 52-0 and losing to Baylor 59-24.

Jones’ quarterback is former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The blue chip prospect out of high school really struggled at Texas and transferred to SMU. He has thrown for 491 yards and three touchdowns with three INTs in two games. The Aggies defeated Gilbert at Texas in 2010.

SMU has a 1,200 yards running back returning in Zach Line.  Line has rushed 44 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns through two games.  TAMU will be pinned on Line throughout the game.

The Mustangs racked up 328 total yards of offense last week against Stephen F. Austin.

In addition, the SMU defense forced 10 turnovers – six interceptions and four fumbles. Manziel did not turn the ball over once for the Aggies last Saturday. This will be something to watch.

What you need to watch: Texas A&M hasn’t lost to the Mustangs since ’84, and they are 10-0-1 since. Previously at Houston, Kevin Sumlin went 4-0 against SMU as well.

I look for Texas A&M’s defense to push the SMU offense around. They showed great pass rushing ability getting to the quarterback last week against a better offensive line than SMU will present.  The defense will be focused on stopping the run first with Zach Line.

All eyes will be on Johnny Manziel. This kid will be a player and one to watch in the future. I love his athleticism, decision making and confidence leading this team. Last week’s first half proved this kid is the real deal and worthy of the blue chip recruit accolades he received. He’ll learn how to finish games and lead his team to victory in second halves in the future.

I look for the Aggies to get back on track this week.

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