Preview 2009 New Mexico Opponents: Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M used to be a power but they have steadily declined ever since the firing of R.C. Slocum and their latest conference title is the Big XII in 1998.

The Aggies are in year two of the Mike Sherman era begins with no quarterback controversy with the reins given to Jerrod Johnson.  He replaces Stephen McGee as the sole starter for 2009, and did show flashes of very goodness with 7 games passing for over 200 yards.

Out of that seven they include a 381 yard performance against Iowa State and then a 419 yards against Kansas, so he has skills. Johnson also is a solid runner, but the offensive line struggled last year to protect any of the quarterbacks from last year.

One odd stat from Rivals mentions that Jerrod Johnson — who did not play the full season — 21 touchdown passes was a school record.   Somewhat surprised by that and that record should be broken again.

Passing Com% Yards TD INT
Jerrod Johnson 59.5 2,435 21 10
Rushing Carries Yards Yards Per Carry TD
Cyrus Gray 75 363 4.3 5
Jerrod Johnson 94 114 1.2 3
Receiving Catches Yards Yards Per Catch TD
Jeff Fuller 50 630 12.6 9
Terrence McCoy 24 237 9.9 1
Ryan Tannehill 55 844 15.3 5

Recruiting was a boom last year as the Ags scooped up running back Christine Michael who was a five star recruit and third rated back in the nation.  Michael will compete immediately for time, because the lack of returning rushing prowess falls into Cyrus Gray who had only 363 yards last year.

The offensive line should be better from last years performance  where the Aggies ranked 114th in the nation in rushing offense and 115th in sacks allowed.  So, why should they be better?  Well the Aggies return four starters from last years awesomely bad offensive line.

The bright spot? The receiving unit has talent starting with wide receiver Jeff Fuller who corralled 50 catches and nine scores.  Then there is Ryan Tannehill who caught 55 passes, but he still has aspirations to be quarterback.  For the Ags to try to get out of the Big XII South basement they need Tannehill to stick at wide out.

In Texas A&M’s defense the Big XII is full of offensive fire power, but when you are 115th in the nation in scoring defense at 37.4 and when comparing that within the Big XII the Aggies were last.

The defense does bring back experience, but the defense is still young with seven underclassmen as projected starters.  They should improve, because it is hard to repeat their 2008 crash and burn defense.  In the pass happy Big XII the Aggies better be ready because they only return one starter in the secondary in Jordan Pugh.

The Aggies will be struggling to not repeat last year with loses to Arkansas State at home, and a 20 point loss to Baylor.  Their hope is to try to win five games which is one more then last year, and that might be asking too much.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Preview 2009 New Mexico Opponents: Texas A&M Aggies Posted on July 16, 2009 by Jeremy […]

  2. Not. First of all, Cyrus Gray is an excellent back. He was a highly rated recruit in his own right and compiled over 1500 total purpose yards last season as a true freshman. Behind him, Bradley Stephens was himself a four-star recruit and has shown a great deal of promise. The Aggies are actually stocked at RB, which is why they were happy to see the lazy Mike Goodson leave town.

    Second, your, ahem, ‘analysis’ of the offensive line is about as vapid as it is glib. That ‘awesomely bad’ offensive line was wracked by injuries last year. Thus, a line that was mediocre to begin with was made worse by the need to play second and third stringers. Just having a full complement of healthy players will be a marked upgrade in talent over last season.

    Third, five wins is not the goal for this season, nor is it anything like the uppermost ceiling on A&M’s expectations. Where are the juggernaut teams against which A&M is going to crash and burn? Aside from OU and Texas, the Aggies play a fairly weak schedule. They play three weak-sister non-cons at home to start (3 Ws), then a suspect Arkansas team in Dallas (L). After that, they have a vastly overrated OSU team at home (W) before traveling to KSU and a decimated Tech (W, L). Then it’s home for ISU (W) at CU (L) at OU (L) home for Baylor (W) and Texas to finish the season (L). That’s 7 wins without any real upsets. And there won’t be any upsets because this team is still too inexperienced to pull one off.

    You should know something about a team before you try to dissect it. Anyone can regurgitate the blurb from The Sporting News CF preview, inane though it may be.

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