Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Midseason review: Texas A&M
By ESPN.com staff
TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Record: 3-2 (1-1 Big 12)
The story for Texas A&M in the season's first half has been simple, yet painful. In the Aggies two biggest games of the year thus far, the pattern has been identical: First-half dominance followed by second-half incompetence. Oklahoma State didn't look like it belonged on the same field as the suddenly scary Aggies that looked befitting of a national title contender with a 20-3 lead. Arkansas was getting outplayed and outmuscled by a physical Texas A&M offense in the first half and trailed, 35-17.
The Aggies lost both games. That's about all there is to say through six games for the Aggies. The offense, though it got away from the powerful running game against Oklahoma State, has been as advertised. Year 2 under defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter hasn't gone as planned, and though the Aggies are second nationally in sacks with 21, they're dead last in pass defense, giving up over 347 yards per game. Oklahoma State and Arkansas set new school records with a combined 948 yards through the air while beating Texas A&M. The second half of the season will feature plenty more chances for the Aggies to prove themselves, but the biggest goals for Texas A&M on the way to the SEC after this season have already been lost.
Offensive MVP: Ryan Tannehill, QB. The running back combo of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael is right there with Tannehill, but the quarterback has been excellent outside of a few untimely picks late against Oklahoma State. He's completing 67 percent of his passes, has thrown for 1,327 yards and opened the scoring against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech with 65-yard and 19-yard touchdown runs, respectively. Outside the pocket, he's been brilliant this season.
Defensive MVP: Sean Porter, LB. Though the pass defense has struggled, Porter has been one of the Big 12's best defenders over the first half of the season. He leads the Big 12 with 6.5 sacks and has 34 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The Aggies needed somebody to step up in the linebacking corps without Von Miller this year, and Porter has been at his best this year.