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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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Reeling SMU next up for No. 6 Aggies


Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

Texas A&M is off to its best start in the Kevin Sumlin era, entering week four 3-0 for the first time since 2010, a year that saw the Aggies win a share of the Big 12 South and head to the Cotton Bowl.
The Aggies will travel to Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas Saturday to continue non-conference play against former Southwest Conference foe SMU, whom they’ve faced each of the past three seasons. A&M holds the edge in the all-time series 44-29-7 and has a 13-game undefeated streak against the Mustangs dating back to 1985.
SMU (0-2, 0-0 AAC) has been outscored a combined 88-6 its first two games with only one touchdown on the season. The Mustangs have garnered 343 total yards of offense and have given up 13 sacks (for -98 yards), a foreboding statistic when welcoming an Aggie defense that is third in the SEC in sacks.
Even though the Mustangs have been lackluster on offense thus far, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder is wary of playing a second consecutive team that has had a bye week before facing the Aggies.
“Another team with another week off before us,” Snyder said. “It’ll be interesting. It’ll be a game of adjustments. We’ll see if they stick with what they do or are they going to tweak it a little bit. They’ve had two weeks to do some different things. There’ll be some adjusting going on through the first quarter, no doubt about that.”
To add insult to injury, SMU is in a bit of limbo after former head coach June Jones resigned following a 43-6 loss to North Texas. The team is still in search of a coach while being led in the interim by defensive coordinator Tom Mason.
“I’ve known June for a while,” Sumlin said. “I don’t know everything around the situation, but I know that’s a difficult decision for any coach. Tom Mason has coached a long time. Those guys will rally, they understand that they’ve still got a lot of season to play. You really don’t know what you’re walking into this weekend.”
Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said that he doesn’t expect SMU’s defense to change much despite the changes in the coaching staff.
“I don’t there’s going to be much change defensively,” Spavital said. “Coach Mason has gone up against us and this offense for — I think this is the seventh year — so he’s very familiar with what we do offensively. I’d expect to see nothing new on defense. They’re going to do all sorts of different looks. We’re going to prepare for anything. They have nothing to lose so I think they’re going to come out firing bullets at us.”
With conference play looming, Sumlin said that improvement from game to game is critical for A&M, especially among the younger members of the team.
“What I’m looking for is the guys who are playing well to consistently be playing well,” Sumlin said. “The guys that we expect to play at an all-conference level, at an All-American level, are you doing that every week — regardless of opponent.”
Kickoff in Dallas is at 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ABC or ESPN2.

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