2008 Texas A&M Aggies Football Preview
2007 Texas A&M Record: (7-6, 4-4 Big 12)
2007 Bowl: Alama Bowl vs. Penn State (L 17-24)
Texas A&M Head Coach: Mike Sherman (1st year at Texas A&M, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Nolan Cromwell
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Kines
Texas A&M's Returning Leaders:
Other Key Returnees: P Justin Brantly, S Alton Dixon, CB Danny Gorrer, RB Jorvorski Lane, K Matt Szymanski, OT Travis Schneider
Key Losses: TE Martellus Bennett, DT Red Bryant, OT Corey Clark, LB Mark Dodge, G Kirk Elder, DT Chris Harrington, LB Misi Tupe, C Cody Wallace
The return of Coach Mike Sherman to Texas A&M has the fans buzzing and for good reason, but for now the new staff has to successfully install their pro style offense. Last year the talent in the backfield was not utilized effectively, most notably bruising back Jovorski Lane. That should change this year. The player who will have to make the biggest adjustment is quarterback Stephen McGee. The two year starter has been solid, but will he prosper or struggle under the new regime?
Texas A&M's Strengths:
One thing that is working in McGee’s favor is the dynamic running game in College Station. Lane rushed for 780 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior and Coach Sherman seems intent to use him more this season. When the backfield needs a little more speed, the Aggies have Mike Goodson who tallied 711 yards last season. Despite all the quality backs returning, it was McGee who led the team in rushing. While using his feet will be important and Coach Sherman will surely goes with what works, he should not be creating as much offense with his legs this year. It might not just be Lane and Goodson getting all the carries either. Redshirt freshman Bradley Stephens might be the most talented of them all and if he starts showing signs of what is to come, this could be one of most dynamic backfields in the conference.
Texas A&M's Weaknesses:
All the great backs in the world will not do any good if Texas A&M cannot fill the holes on their offensive line. Four of the five starters are gone and there will be a lot of battles leading up to the season to fill those holes. The other concern on offense are the wide receivers. Tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Kerry Franks were the top two pass catching threats and both are gone. TAMU will need highly touted, yet untested, receivers like Jeff Fuller and Howard Morrow to step up and fill the void. On the other side of the ball virtually the entire front seven needs to be replaced and sack leader defensive end Cyril Obiozor will have to lead the way.
The Bottom Line for the Aggies:
The secondary returns largely intact led by Jordan Pugh and Devin Gregg. But this was a unit that gave up over 250 passing yards per game. At least there is experience, but Coach Sherman and defensive coordinator Joe Kines will want to make the defensive backs play much more aggressively. That could be a good thing if it works, but if the secondary takes a lot of risks and the defensive line cannot get pressure on the quarterback, Texas A&M will get torched in the pass happy Big XII.
2007 Texas A&M Aggies Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 211.62 (13th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 185.38 (99, 12)
Total Offense: 397.00 (58, 9)
Scoring Offense: 27.92 (57, 9)
Rushing Defense: 160.92 (65, 9)
Pass Defense: 254.85 (92, 6)
Total Defense: 415.77 (83, 9)
Scoring Defense: 25.92 (49, 5)
Turnover Margin: .54 (26, 4)
Sacks: 1.38 (104, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 1.23 (15, 3)
By Joel Welser
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