Kevin Sumlin (Photo: USA Today)

Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin Discusses Auburn Game

Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the Auburn Tigers and why the defense presents a big challenge for the Aggies.

College Station, Tex.--Entering Saturday night's game with a perfect 2-0 record following wins over UCLA and Prairie View A&M, the Texas A&M Aggies are preparing to face the Auburn Tigers, a team that Coach Kevin Sumlin said is playing at a high level following their win over Arkansas State. That starts on offense where the Tigers narrowed down their play to Sean White and John Franklin last week.

Sumlin said both guys did some good things last week and the Aggies are preparing to see both of them Saturday night on the Plains.

"We're prepping for the system," Sumlin said of how his defense will get ready for @Gus Malzahn's offense. "There are similarities in both quarterbacks, but obviously there is more of a mobile component in one of them. All of them are capable and last weekend I thought both threw the ball extremely well. I was impressed by, we're familiar with Sean White from the Elite 11, but I thought after looking back at it all of the quarterbacks threw the ball well."

While the quarterbacks are important in Auburn's offense, Sumlin said it still revolves around running the football for Auburn after the Tigers pounded Arkansas State for over 400 yards on the ground a week ago. With Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway expected to carry the load, Sumlin said the Aggies have to be ready for the running game that sets up the play-action passing threats.

"We have to be prepared for the power running game, for everybody to be able to carry the football," Sumlin said. "Obviously the deep shots that they take, I think they executed their passing game last week as well as I have seen them."

On the other side of the ball Sumlin said while the defensive schemes don't look much different from last season to now for the Tigers, the play of the front four gives this Auburn defense a much different feel than the one the Aggies faced in 2015.

"There are some similarities personnel-wise," Sumlin said. "Carl Lawson is a really good pass rusher. Their strength lies within with (Dontavius) Russell and (Montravius) Adams and the number of guys they rotate with the big guys up front. That will be a real big challenge for us out of their base 4-3 package. Those big guys in there can eat up space and eat up blocks and really create havoc.

"There are some similarities, but from a personnel standpoint the experience is up front and you can see that because those guys are big and physical. When you play a team that is as explosive as Clemson and limit them the way they did, that's impressive. They're playing really good defense right now and it will be a big challenge for us."

Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

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