Texas A&M is looking to cure its Miami hangover when it hosts Baylor Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Kyle Field to open Big 12 conference play, but the Bears always take this game seriously. To be honest, this is the Bears Super Bowl as the Aggies represent their biggest rival.
Separated by only a 90-mile stretch on State Highway 6, the two campuses have a long history on the football that dates back to 1899. This will be the 104th matchup in the series, which is decidedly in A&M's favor, 64-30-9.
The Bears, however, continue to make a game out of it every time they face the Aggies. They won in 2004 in overtime in Waco, almost pulled the upset in 2005 in College Station before A&M pulled out a late 16-13 win, and were in the game last year until Mike Goodson broke a long run to put A&M up 31-21 in Waco. This season, the Bears are looking to get back in the win column against A&M as they head into College Station with a full head of steam and a three-game win streak.
The Aggies, however, are looking to rebound from the demoralizing loss at Miami, and Baylor just happens to be the team in the way.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES
A&M Offensive Line
Baylor Defensive Line
The A&M offensive line hasn't played up to its billing this season. Not even close. As the Big 12 conference season opens, the Aggies are going to need the offensive line to resemble the line from last season if they are to have a chance in the conference race. Hopefully, Miami served as a wake up call.
Supposedly, this is Guy Morriss' best front six since he's been at Baylor. Sophomore end Jason Lamb is the most productive of the linemen with 20 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. In all, the BU defensive line has helped in accumulating 12 sacks so far this season, but even though they aren't playing to their potential the Aggie line is the best they've seen this year by far.
A&M Passing Offense
Baylor Passing Defense
Is it officially time to call the Aggies passing attack dead? No, but the pulse is waning. Pass protection hasn't been good, receivers aren't getting open and quarterback Stephen McGee isn't pulling the trigger. There is no question that McGee has the arm, but someone other than Martellus Bennett and Kerry Franks needs to step up in the passing game.
Sophomore free safety Jordan Lake may be one of the best defensive backs you've never heard of as he leads the Bears in tackles (30), interceptions (2), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (2). Ironically, where he might play his biggest dividends at Kyle Field is in run support, but if A&M decides to spread the ball around like they did last year in Waco then Lake becomes the key player on BU's defense.