September 11, 2006

Defense steps up

What better way to set the tempo of the game than kicking off and forcing an immediate three-and-out? That has been a foreign concept for Texas A&M football in recent years, but Aggie fans had a glimpse of what defenses used to be at Kyle Field. It's not time to pull out the Wrecking Crew label just yet, but overall Saturday's performance was encouraging with a few exceptions.

Actually, the defense forced three-and-outs on Louisiana-Lafayette's first two drives, giving the A&M offense a short field in Ragin' Cajun territory on their first two drives - both leading to touchdowns. In fact, the offense began four drives inside Cajun territory in the first half resulting in 24 points.

It wasn't until six minutes left in the second quarter that Louisiana-Lafayette finally mounted a significant drive, going 74 yards for their first and only score. By that time, the Aggies already had 31 points on the board and the game was out of reach.

If there was an area of concern, it had to be the defense allowing too many rushing yards, especially from backup quarterback Michael Desormeaux who found a way to break the Aggie defense on the zone read keeping the ball 10 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Take away the sack yardage, and the Ragin' Cajuns tallied 160 yards and averaged over four yards per carry on the ground.

Another encouraging sign for the defense was the pass defense. A&M gave up only two pass completions all night for a measly 17 yards. Some will discount those figures saying the Cajuns only threw the ball 12 times. Well, last season run-oriented offenses came to Kyle Field and constantly challenged A&M's porous secondary. In fact, teams like Texas State and SMU who had marginal success throwing the ball, seemed to transform into high-octane passing teams against A&M in 2005.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!