2005 Preview: Texas A&M

Texas A&M travels to Death Valley to face off against the Clemson Tigers in the 2005 season opener for both teams.

2004 RECORD: 7-5 overall, 5-3 Big 12 (T-3rd in South).

HEAD COACH: Dennis Franchione, 166-87-2 overall in 22 seasons; 11-13 in two seasons at Texas A&M.

KEY ADDITIONS: TE Martellus Bennett, DL Vincent Williams, DE Paul freeney, OG Michael Shumard, WR Kerry Reed, FB Jorvorskie Lane.

KEY LOSSES: CB Jonte Buhl, CB Bryan Jones, DL Mike Montgomery, WR Terrence Murphy.

OFFENSE: With only two starters lost on offense, the Aggies will have plenty of manpower to move the football with little problem. Quarterback Reggie McNeal is listed as one of the top five in the country at his position, while tailback Courtney Lewis is also a keeper. The only downfall offensively may be the three starting sophomores on the line. If they will most definitely be tested early and if they can handle the pressure, Texas A&M could have a special season.

DEFENSE: There are only three starters lost on defense, but two of them were cornerbacks. This doesn't bode well, especially against pass-happy teams, which the Aggies will face. Three of the four top cornerbacks are either freshman or sophomores, which means their obviously young and will make mistakes. The only question is whether or not the mistakes will be big enough to cost Texas A&M victories. The rest of the defense is set with little to no problems, But it's all going to boil down to the secondary.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – Number of interceptions thrown by McNeal in 344 pass attempts last year.

WHAT TO WATCH: If McNeal continues to improve his passing skills, he will most definitely be on the Heisman Trophy watch list. It's very possible he could rush for 1,000 yards and pass for another 2,500.

PREDICTION: 8-3 overall.

QB Reggie McNeal

S Jaxson Appel

Head coach Denis Franchione

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