Texas A&M has the dubious honor of playing in the ultra competitive SEC West, but they will be up to the challenge this coming season. Defense is being heavily focused on in spring training, as this has consistently been an area of concern in recent years for the Aggies. The team went and hired John Chavis away from LSU, so the leadership at the helm will be evident. He is now charged with the responsibility of finding a way to fix a defense that allowed nearly 37 points per game in the SEC last season. The bright spot will the be that the offense is back and ready to score even more points than they put up last year, but they will need to depend on the defense to help them notch some more wins overall.
Sophomore Kyle Allen will be back at quarterback, where is he poised to become one of the top passers in the SEC. He got some time last year and developed into a prolific threat that has likely earned him the starting job this year. There are quite a few wide receiver to target beginning with sophomore Speedy Noil and junior Josh Reynolds. Noil is a threat for the deep ball, and Reynolds set the school record last season with 13 touchdown receptions. A weakness lies in the running game, but there is hope coming. Running back Tra Carson and Brandon Williams will be back and ready to improve on a disappointing last season. The offensive line is a bit week, allowing 27 sacks last season, but new coordinator Dave Christensen will bring a focus on better technique and developing a more aggressive approach that should help matters.
The defense, in the view of many Aggies fans, could not get much worse, so they are expecting much improvement this year. Myles Garret, who set the SEC freshmen record with 11.5 sacks last season, is back and is poised to accomplish even more. The team will also have junior Daeshon Hall and senior tackle Alonzo Williams back to help out inside. At the linebacker position, sophomore Otaro Alaka will be back fresh off being defensive MVP in the Liberty Bowl. Junior college transfer Claude George will also be arriving on the scene and hopes to provide a spark to the run defense right from the start. The team also needs to improve their pass defense. If they can do this, then they will be ready to build upon their recent success. Look for the Aggies to finish no higher than 6th in the SEC West, but inside the top 25 nationally.
Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies will be tested throughout the season, as many SEC teams are, when they face quality opponents almost every week. Some of the quality opponents that could give the Aggies trouble include: LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, and Mississippi State. The Aggies will can’t hold anything back if they hope to escape the SEC with a good record that is worthy of a bowl game.
Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News