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

The intersection of Bizzell Street and College Avenue on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Farmers fight Hurricane Beryl
Aggies across South Texas left reeling in wake of unexpectedly dangerous storm
J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 20, 2024
Texas A&M LB Taurean York (21) speaks during the 2024 SEC Media Day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday July 18, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M predicted to finish ninth in SEC football media poll, three Aggies earn preseason honors
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 19, 2024

Texas A&M football is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference this season, per the SEC football preseason media poll...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina SabihJuly 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Four takeaways after four games

Photo by Photo by Carlie Russell

Sophomore Tyrel Dodson takes down the Arkansas QB.

Run defense needs to step up
The Aggies secondary and pass rush did their jobs on Saturday, stepping their game up and neutralizing the Arkansas air attack. The run defense, on the other hand, was unbelievably porous, allowing 226 yards and three touchdowns. The Arkansas running back corps averaged nearly seven yards a carry against the Aggies. Though the Aggies may be able to slip past South Carolina’s ground game with those numbers, they won’t be able to against Alabama the following week. It’s time for this run defense to get it together before Alabama comes to town.
Landis Durham emerges as pass rush threat
Arguably the biggest defensive woe plaguing the Aggie defense has been their inability to get pressure on the quarterback. That changed on Saturday, as the Aggies dominated Arkansas’ offensive line. Sumlin has rotated many players in and out of the game defensively this season, resting his starters and trying to find a set lineup. Junior defensive end Landis Durham is a successful product of the rotations and is emerging into a special player after seeing minimal action in his first two seasons at A&M and starting the season third on the depth chart. Durham played in 50-of-55 snaps in the game against Arkansas and was dominant on the weak side, shedding the right tackle and getting to Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen. This increased pressure forced Allen to make some uncharacteristic throws, including the interception that ended the game in overtime. Durham will need to lead an effort to get pressure on South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley as he has completed 63.8 percent of his passes this season.
Christian Kirk is back
After a disappointing game against Louisiana-Lafayette with just 34 receiving yards and a muffed punt that resulted in a turnover, junior receiver Christian Kirk was visually distraught. Kirk needed a big game against Arkansas to get back into his groove and he showed up with five receptions for 110 yards and two receiving touchdowns and one touchdown on special teams, which came off his electric 100-yard kickoff return. Kirk is without a doubt the most talented player on this Aggie team and the Aggies have success whenever the ball is in his hands. Sumlin said it himself: the kid is a receiver with running back skills. Since he will likely be double-covered against South Carolina, the Aggies need to find different ways to get the ball in Kirk’s hands and utilize his electric speed. Kirk’s success on special teams is incredibly beneficial for the Aggies, as seen in the game against Arkansas and Lafayette, as both teams resorted to pooch-kicking the ball to linebacker Cullen Gillaspia. Gillaspia had surprisingly good returns in both of those attempts, giving quarterback Kellen Mond a short field to work with.
Running back by committee needs to exploit weak South Carolina run defense
Senior running back Keith Ford and sophomore running back Trayveon Williams have been bestial up to this point in the season and combined for 174 yards against Arkansas. Though he didn’t have an enormous impact in the Arkansas game, redshirt sophomore Kendall Bussey has posed a dynamic threat against opposing defenses. The corps’ success pounding the football up the gut has been extremely beneficial for Mond’s development, as it helps keep the defense guessing. This allows Mond more time to sit in the pocket and go through his reads. As we saw in the Arkansas game, Mond is most successful when he has time to sit in the pocket and throw the ball down field. This running back by committee needs to exploit South Carolina’s run defense in order to give Mond the best chance to establish the passing attack that was so successful against Arkansas.

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 *