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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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Program benchmark

At the beginning of the football season, expectations around the Aggies were low. There were many questions surrounding this team: how would the Aggies fare in the SEC?
Will they be able to breed championship contenders and NFL prospects? How would head coach Kevin Sumlin do in his first year and how would his high-octane offense from Houston translate to Aggieland? Before there was Johnny Football, it was unknown whether Manziel would be the starting quarterback.
Oh, how the year has turned. As the midseason point of the season arrives, many of those questions have been answered by A&Ms 5-1 overall record. The offense, led by the growing legend of Johnny Football and his 24 total touchdowns, have the Aggies in a position few figured would arrive to Kyle Field in such a short period. The Aggies did not start this season on the right note, losing to Florida 20-17 and with the Louisiana Tech game being postponed due to Hurricane Isaac, the Aggies were going in blind.
Now A&M enters this weekends highly sought after battle against No. 6 LSU with a chance to not only defeat a former arch rival, but also make a statement to the entire conference that the doormat expectation can be tossed out. A budding powerhouse is waking up in the heart of Texas.
While it is true that one game cannot make a season, the Aggies have a chance to improve their ranking and brand by defeating yearly title contender LSU and position themselves to make an outstanding run in the SEC West.
The Aggies got to this point thanks to the emergence of Manziel, leading the fifth ranked scoring offense in the country by leaving opposing defenses and their coaches scratching their heads as to how to stop the menacing quarterback.
Against LSU, Manziel can put to rest the question of how he would fare against a vaunted defense like that of LSU.
Against Florida, Manziel performed admirably but a strong performance this weekend not only positions A&M for an SEC West title shot, but will also make him a strong contender as a Heisman candidate.
While the A&M offense has garnered the glory for resurrecting life into the program, the defense has unassumingly been on the same page all year, stopping the opponents in crunch time.
During the Ole Miss game, it was the Aggie defense that stopped the Rebels on a fourth and one to give the ball to the offense. Facing the Tiger offense, the main goal will be to establish a wall to prevent the Tiger running backs from doing any damage.
Stopping the No. 31 ranked rushing attack in the country, which boasts smash mouth football, will show the country that the Aggies are not just a run and gun team, but a well-rounded SEC team.
As the countdown continues until kick-off, the Aggies have an opportunity this weekend to show what many have been waiting for anxiously. It would show that the once mediocre program is heading in the right direction.
With a win this weekend, A&M would show that a once proud football titan is rising out of the ashes and ready to contend in the big leagues.

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