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

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

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • June 18, 2024

There’s nothing quite like Omaha when June rolls around.  Fans from across the country head to Charles Schwab Field to watch their teams...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

A look ahead: Toughest games still to come

Kyle+Allen
Photo by By Kathryn Perez
Kyle Allen

Four weeks into college football, we’ve learned a lot about the nation’s top teams, the SEC and Texas A&M. 

As SEC play is now underway, A&M is sitting pretty in the SEC West. But even with a 4-0 record, 1-0 in SEC play, there have been both surprises and disappointments so far in 2015 for the Aggies.

Here is what we’ve learned about the Aggies a quarter of the way through the season.

Offense:

A&M has one of the best in college football. They are able to put up 40 points in the blink of an eye without skipping a beat. Most of that is a credit to the receiving corps, which is the best in the nation, and the quarterback play of Kyle Allen. So far, Allen has accumulated 952 yards in the air and 11 passing touchdowns with just two interceptions. Although, with receivers like Josh Reynolds and Christian Kirk on your side, all you have to do is get the ball in their hands and they will do the rest. The most pleasant surprise has been Kirk, who is now arguably the best freshman in the country. He has put up 442 yards receiving and four touchdowns so far in 2015.  Really, no other freshman in the country has had the impact on their team like Kirk has for A&M. Watch for what Mississippi State gives Kirk this weekend and how they will try to keep him contained. The biggest disappointment thus far has been the usually solid offensive line. Amassing just 65 rushing yards against Arkansas is not going to cut it in SEC competition. Their play will have to be better moving forward—not protecting the quarterback, but in the running game. Balance is key for this A&M offense to have success. 

Defense:

The biggest improvement to the team in 2015 has been the quick turnaround of the defense. John Chavis has turned what was an abysmal Aggie defense for two years into one of the nation’s best. Currently, A&M is ranked 60th in the nation in total defense, but that is leaps and bounds better than where A&M was for the last few years. The biggest surprise has been the tackling and pass rush, which was mostly non-existent for the last few years. Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall are the best two defensive ends in the country and have helped A&M reach a total of 17 team sacks, making A&M 2nd in the country. This week against Mississippi State, it will be interesting to see this talented front go against a relatively inexperienced offensive line for the Bulldogs and Dak Prescott. The team needs improvement in the rush defense, where Arkansas’ Alex Collins gashed them most recently. Improvements in first and second down rushing will also create a more favorable situation for the Aggie defense. 

Special teams:

Taylor Bertolet’s return to the field was met with some grimace, no doubt, from Aggie fans. The kicker has spent a majority of his four years facing loads of scrutiny, and even lost his job during his sophomore year to Josh Lambo, the most accurate kicker in A&M’s history. From missed extra points to missed big-time field goals, Bertolet has been through it all. Now, in his final year, he seems to be getting it together. His first miss came on the game-winning attempt against Arkansas, and so far, he has not missed an extra point this season. His continued consistency will be big for A&M down the road. 

Christian Kirk has been nothing short of electric in the return game, and he’s already taken a punt return to the house this year. Really, the only place the special teams unit needs to improve on would be continued consistency in the kicking game. As the number of Bertolet’s successful field goals rises, his confidence will rise with it. Mississippi State’s first conference game against LSU came down to a missed field goal. This week could come down to how well the special teams perform against the Bulldogs. 

Overall, A&M looks to be in the same spot they were in last year — undefeated with high hopes going into the thick of the SEC race. This year, however, things are going to be different. A&M finally seems to have all the pieces of the puzzle fitting together. Thus far in 2015, we’ve learned a lot about A&M, but also very little at the same time, and the toughest part of the schedule begins this week. With home games against Mississippi State and Alabama approaching, then a trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss looming right after, these next few weeks will give us a better idea of how good A&M truly is this year. 

 

Andre Perrard is a sports management senior and a sports reporter for The Battalion.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *