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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Game by game breakdown of 2015 Aggie football

Photo by Tanner Garza
Kyle Field

It’s almost here, folks. Just over a month until college football is back in our lives.
Aggie football is just around the corner, and what better way to end the summer than by talking about the thing that brings 100,000 plus to Kyle Field on Saturday afternoons in the fall?
The 2015 season brings a lot of expectations, with a new defensive coordinator, explosive offensive weapons and a freshly renovated Kyle Field.
“I think our team has come a long way,” said Aggie senior punter Drew Kaser. “We have great team chemistry, leaders are stepping up, we’re really developing this summer in the weight room.”
A&M also has the homefield advantage for a majority of the season. The schedule features seven games in College Station, and the Aggies don’t even leave the State of Texas until Oct. 24th when they travel to Ole Miss.
“It’s not very often that you’re in your own home state until the seventh game of the season so it’s pretty unique and we really like that. It fits our schedule very well with playing at two of the top venues in the state with playing down at NRG and playing up at AT&T Stadium,” Kaser said. “I personally love playing in those stadiums because it’s indoors and no wind in Texas is pretty nice. Those stadiums are so unique and amazing and then playing here at home it gives us an advantage for the season.”
So, with all this talent and potential, where do the Aggies stack up in the SEC West for the 2015 season?

Final Record Prediction: 10-2 (6-2 SEC)

Game 1: Sept. 5 vs. Arizona State (NRG Stadium, Houston, TX)

This will be a game of one high flying offense against another high flying offense. Both teams return a fair amount of starters. Until a late season collapse at Oregon State, the Sun Devils were within striking distance of the College Football Playoff. This will be the first test run of A&M’s new John Chavis defense, and what better way than do it against a powerful offense on national television. It will be a close affair, but A&M takes this one in Houston. It will surely be an almost all maroon crowd, and this game will come down to which defense can stop the other offense in the most crucial situation. 

Prediction: A&M 38, ASU 31

Game 2: Sept. 12 vs. Ball State (Kyle Field)

Coming off a big win in Houston, the Aggies return home to take on Mid-American Conference club Ball State. The Cardinals will be upset-minded, and they will come out fired up, but playing on emotion only gets you so far. A&M has too many weapons for Ball State to hang with them for four quarters. The talented Aggies will wear down the Cardinals and run away with a win for a 2-0 start to the year, and the home fans get to see a lopsided win to christen the new Kyle Field.

Prediction: A&M 52, Ball State 17

Game 3: Sept. 19 vs. Nevada (Kyle Field)

It will be a reunion between A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and Nevada head coach Brian Polian, who was the special teams coordinator for A&M in 2012 under Sumlin. He took the Wolfpack to a bowl game in his second year at the helm in Reno. Nevada will keep it closer than analysts think for a while, but in the end, the A&M defense will begin to gel in their third game under Chavis, and an explosive Aggie offense will take advantage of what was one of the nation’s worst defenses in 2014 to put the Wolfpack away. 

Prediction: A&M 38, Nevada 17

Game 4: Sept. 26 vs. Arkansas (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

This will be one of A&M’s biggest tests of the year. A&M barely escaped last year in a 42-35 overtime win over the Razorbacks. Arkansas only got better as the season went along, and coming into the year they are an SEC West dark horse. A&M’s offense face a very good Arkansas defense, which has potential to shut down any offense. This is going to be a tough grind-it-out type of game between two teams who have a lot to prove. It’s close, but Arkansas gets a big SEC win in Arlington with a final defensive stop.

Prediction: A&M 30, Arkansas 35

Game 5: Oct. 3 vs. Mississippi State (Kyle Field)

This will be an interesting game. MSU reached No. 1 in the nation last year, but a final mishap against Ole Miss ended their playoff hopes. They return Heisman candidate Dak Prescott, who led his team to a 48-31 win over A&M last year in Starkville. This time, it will be a little different. Kyle Allen and the Aggie receivers will be zeroed in after a loss to Arkansas. While it will be close, high-scoring game, A&M will get its first SEC win of the year, and their first win over a ranked opponent at Kyle Field since 2011 (Baylor).  

Prediction: A&M 42, Miss St 38

Game 6: Oct. 17 vs. Alabama (Kyle Field)

Coming off a bye week, A&M will focus on taking down their new-found SEC rivals at home and avenge an ugly 59-0 shutout loss in Tuscaloosa last year. Alabama has questions at quarterback entering the year, but it does not matter when you have a defense as good as Nick Saban’s. This one is tough to call. Overall, the Tide defense will be too much to handle. A&M will put up points as usual, and the game will be a close one, but Alabama wins by a nose to give A&M their first home loss.

Prediction: A&M 27, Alabama 30

Game 7: Oct. 24 at Ole Miss(Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS)

A&M and Ole Miss have sort of formed their own rivalry between each other. The two have played three games against one another. A&M won both in Oxford, and Ole Miss won the only one in College Station last season. The Ole Miss defense is one of the best units in the nation, but the offense loses veteran signal caller Bo Wallace, and star receiver Laquon Treadwell is coming off of a broken leg in 2014. A&M’s defense will win this game on the road, and both teams will score less than what analysts think. A few big defensive stops and a game sealing touchdown gives A&M a 5-2 record.

Prediction: A&M 28, Ole Miss 17

Game 8: Oct. 31 vs. South Carolina (Kyle Field)

A&M pulled a shocking 52-28 win in Columbia last year, and the Gamecocks will be looking for revenge on Halloween night. However, South Carolina is facing questions all over the team, from defense to the stability of their head coach. The Gamecocks have talent, no question about it. But, with all the concerns with the defense, the edge goes to A&M. The Aggies get an impressive home win to gain a 3-2 record in SEC play before a big time home showdown with Auburn. 

Prediction: A&M 45, South Carolina 28

Game 9: Nov. 7 vs. Auburn (Kyle Field)

As this game rolls around, Auburn could be a top five team in the country. With a tricky offense that can put up points in the blink of an eye, the Tigers are even on some people’s lists as a dark horse national title contender. It will be a John Chavis versus Will Muschamp game on the defensive side of the ball. Whose defense is better in year one? Muschamp has the edge, but Chavis’ will be very good as well. The Aggies have the edge playing at home, the defense makes the stops it needs to help the offense put Auburn away for good in the fourth quarter, and give A&M its biggest home win since Nebraska in 2010. 

Prediction: A&M 38, Auburn 28

Game 10: Nov. 14 vs. Western Carolina (Kyle Field)

In A&M’s home finale of 2015, they take on FCS opponent Western Carolina in a moneymaker game for the Catamounts. A&M is on a three game win streak, and coming off a big home win versus Auburn. The Aggies’ power on offense — while it might be rusty early — will chase the Catamounts all over the field, and the seniors will put on a show in their home swansong.

Prediction: A&M 58, Western Carolina 14

Game 11: Nov. 21 at Vanderbilt (Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee)

Vanderbilt has struggled historically in football, and 2015 will be no different. After a 3-9 campaign where they went winless in SEC play, the Commodores welcome A&M to campus for the first time in SEC play. A&M won their previous meeting in a 56-24 romp in 2013. In 2015, A&M should roll once again behind the arm of Kyle Allen and the offense. The Aggies run away with the game in Nashville and improve to 9-2 on the year. 

Prediction: A&M 48, Vanderbilt 14

Game 12: Nov. 21 at LSU (Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

In three tries, A&M is 0-3 against LSU, the only SEC West opponent A&M has yet to beat. A night game in Death Valley is a tough task to overcome (LSU is 62-9 at home under Les Miles, and have lost just four night games at home during his tenure). LSU has quarterback issues however, and the loss of John Chavis does not help anything. The Tigers will have a talented team as always, and A&M has the firepower to hang with LSU. Death Valley will be ready to rock, and it will give A&M fits, but the Aggies will finally overcome their LSU woes and earn a big time win in Baton Rouge, and notch another big November road win for Kevin Sumlin. 

Prediction: A&M 24, LSU 20

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