September 25, 2006

Defense holds strong

One thing that is clear with the 2006 Texas A&M defense. It's an improved unit, especially in the secondary. But let's be clear about the 2005 benchmark. It's not a good benchmark, finishing near the bottom of most NCAA statistical categories.

However, the defense did pass its first test of the year, playing competitively and making a good Louisiana Tech offense earn every yard. The Aggies didn't stop the Bulldogs, but they kept them out of the end zone while the offense struggled to find its rhythm early.

The defense came out a little shaky, allowing Louisiana Tech to drive the ball 46 yards and pinning the Aggies back at their two-yard line. While the defense forced the offense to operate unsuccessfully deep in Bulldog territory, it was the defense that held strong to keep the game at a stalemate. Louisiana Tech's next three drives started near midfield, and the Bulldogs came away with no points while running 15 plays for just 33 yards.

It wasn't until Stephen McGee's fumble deep in Aggie territory at the end of the first quarter that the Bulldogs finally scored for a 7-0 lead on a 24-yard drive. That lead could have easily been 21-0 without the defense stepping up to make plays.

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