November 10, 2009
Inconsistencies plague Aggie defense
Texas A&M stifled Texas Tech and Iowa State in convincing wins, but in losses this season the Aggie defense has been giving up yardage in big doses. Saturday in a 35-34 loss to Colorado the Aggies gave up chunks of yardage in crucial junctures of the game, namely on third downs in the second half when CU was 5-9 that includes converting a third and 16 on what would prove to be the game-winning drive.
The Aggies did have eight sacks at Colorado and junior Von Miller had two more sacks to increase his nation-leading total to 15.5, but the pass rush, last season's Achilles' heel, is about the only thing that is consistent with the defense this year
"We have played well at times this year, but consistency is obviously our problem," said A&M defensive coordinator Joe Kines. "This is a week where we're going to have to go to the practice field and get consistent, do things the right way, get lined up right, be where we're supposed to be, do what we're supposed to be doing and then you've got a shot."
For instance, consistency against the run has been a major concern this season. In Boulder, the Aggies allowed 166 yards on the ground from the Big 12 conference's worst rushing defense. That's a week after limiting an offense heavy in the rush like Iowa State to 169, which was well below their average heading into the game. The week before the Aggies bottled up Texas Tech running back Baron Batch after he got off to a terrific start in the first quarter.
Heading into Norman to face Oklahoma this Saturday, the Aggies are going to have to do much better against the run. The Sooners boast a number of highly-skilled backs such as DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, two rushers that have over 500 yards on the ground this season and are averaging better than four yards per carry.
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