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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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A&M defense will look to repeat its efforts against brand-new Miami offense

Freshman+DB+Bryce+Anderson+%281%29+tackles+Miami+TE+Will+Mallory+%2885%29+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Miami+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+17%2C+2022.
Photo by Ishika Samant

Freshman DB Bryce Anderson (1) tackles Miami TE Will Mallory (85) during Texas A&M’s game against Miami at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

1-0.
The team records for both No. 23 Texas A&M and the unranked Miami Hurricanes after Week 1 where both won in convincing fashion. As the Aggies travel to the 305 to visit the Hurricanes, here is how A&M’s defense matches up against Miami’s offense.
The Maroon and White had a great defensive showing against New Mexico, limiting the Lobos to just 10 points. However, the Cherry and Silver had long drives, two of which were six and seven minutes. The prolonged possessions finally cracked down on the Aggie defense in the third quarter, as New Mexico’s longest possession led to mental mistakes, such as unnecessary roughness and personal fouls. Besides those mistakes, the defense looked alive, especially the secondary.
Leading the way was graduate transfer defensive back Josh DeBerry. He stuffed the stat sheet, matching his single-game career high with 10 tackles and added a sack and an interception. Though A&M’s defense finished the 2022-23 season as the No. 1 passing defense, many young defensive backs transferred out. DeBerry’s presence will be an important one for the Maroon and White as they look to be a top defense again this season.
Fifth-year defensive back Demani Richardson will look to lead the secondary once again, along with sophomore Bryce Anderson and junior Tyreek Chappell. All hard-hitters and ballhawks, the secondary will be matched up with a Miami team that will more than likely implement a great deal of passing plays thanks to new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
The main matchup will be between the Aggie defensive line and the Hurricanes’ backfield. After a season where teams ran through the inexperienced line, the players had a good showing against New Mexico, keeping the Lobos under 100 yards rushing. Sophomore Walter Nolen led the guys up front with eight total tackles. Sophomores LT Overton and Shemar Stewart, who each made impacts as freshmen last season, will reinforce Nolen in limiting the run game.
Like the Aggies, the Hurricanes began the season with a new look, and it all starts with the previously mentioned Dawson. He oversaw a Houston offense that finished as the eighth-best team in the nation in passing offense last season and will look to implement a similar air-raid offense in Miami.
Before the team’s blowout win against Miami (OH), the receiving core was heralded as one of the strong points of the team. Junior wide receivers Colbie Young, Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George were predicted as the main targets for junior quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, and it showed during Week 1. All three receivers eclipsed 50 receiving yards and were hauled in 75% of the team’s receptions.
The main weapon for the Hurricanes will be their running back room. They ran all over the Redhawks for a total of 250 yards. Junior back Henry Parrish Jr. led all rushers with 90 rushing yards and a touchdown and the depth of the running back room showed. Freshmen Mark Fletcher Jr. and Ajay Allen contributed 76 and 47 yards, respectively. Fletcher and sophomore Donald Chaney Jr. tacked on touchdowns of their own.
Protecting the backfield will start with junior Javion Cohen, a transfer from Alabama. He was named to All-SEC honoree last season and his skills will be one to look out for. Senior Matt Lee, another transfer coming in from UCF, was rated as the third-highest center in the country according to Pro Football Focus.
Overall, it will be the first real test for both sides. A&M will feature an experienced secondary and an evolving defensive line while Miami shows off their new system and offensive line that’ll protect a veteran quarterback who has young talent to defer to.

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