In a little over a month, this game went from a question-laden matchup on September 1st to a tete-a-tete of two teams ranked in the top 25 on October 13th. The postponement due to Hurricane Isaac changed the entire dynamic of this game.
Texas A&M played its sloppiest game of the year last week in Oxford and it nearly cost them a key W. La. Tech, on the other hand, scores and scores and scores some more. Without question, this will be the most explosive offense that A&M has faced this year (and it may be the best it faces this entire season)
1. Take care of the football - The Ole Miss game was closer than it was supposed to be (5 TOs).
2. Pound the rock and let Ben Malena and Christine Michael carry the load.
3. Stay up tempo and keep the heat on La. Tech's defense.
4. Free up DE Damontre Moore to get to the QB, move him, isolate him, blitz him.
5. Tackle in space - No busts or La. Tech will roll up big plays all night long.
1. DE Damontre Moore - Fourth in the nation with seven sacks, tied for second in tackles for loss (TFL) with 12.5.
2. RB Ben Malena - Pocket dynamite, explodes into tacklers.
3. T Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel - Best pair of tackles in the SEC and maybe the nation.
1. Take what A&M gives them offensively - don't have to push the issue, just be patient.
2. Have a linebacker spy on A&M QB Johnny Manziel.
3. 7s not 3s.
4. Cameron to Patton… to open up the run.
5. Stay "clean" in the turnover game.
1. QB Colby Cameron - Thirteen TDs and 0 interceptions… I'd say that's pretty good, huh?
2. WR Quinton Patton -Should be a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
3. LB Antonio Mitchum - Leads team with 40 tackles, will have #2 in his sights.
Of the four key games this weekend, this is the one that is a MUST watch for me. Well, that's a lie, because I HAVE to watch them all, but you get the point, right?
This one has a ton more cache than it would've had back in September. La. Tech is averaging 52 points per game, having knocked off two BCS conference opponents on the road. Texas A&M is 30 subpar minutes in the second half against Florida from being undefeated.
That all said, I don't see La. Tech having a shot in hades of stopping Manziel from "creating" all night long and the running game from dominating in the second half. Moore will be a huge problem for the Bulldogs and the Aggies will flip the turnover battle in their favor this week.
Texas A&M - 45 vs. La. Tech - 31