I expect the defense to once again dominate this game, but it would be too much to ask that it perform as well as it did against Florida every week. It wouldn't surprise me to see them start off a little bit sluggishly against the Aggies, mostly because of the long break. Against the Gators, we saw that Bill Young's defense was easier for the younger players on the team to understand than we thought, but we also saw that if they stay on the field as the game wears on, they will get tired and miss assignments. I don't think that will be a problem, however, because TAMU's run defense is porous and we've seen that Patrick Nix would prefer to run first to alleviate the pressure on the quarterbacks. TAMU will most likely know this and stack up against the run, but I suspect the ‘Canes had a chance to go over film during the long week and correct their problems on offense (or a t least I hope so). Expect Coach Nix to still use a run first mentality, predominantly out of the shotgun formation (as he likes to do with Cooper, Thomas, and McNeal). The ‘Canes should have some success with this, enough that I'd imagine they might take a few shots downfield and get the ball to the rotation of 7 wide receivers, who have allegedly received more reps in practice. The ‘Canes still won't be as explosive on offense as some fans would like, but they'll get the job and come out of College Station with a solid win.
The Canes are entering a crucial three game stretch vs. Texas A&M, North Carolina , and Florida State . This Saturday can be a big step into Miami 's quest for its first ACC title. The Canes should be able to win vs. a Texas A&M team they were able to dominate last year. A&M dropped its season opener vs. Arkansas State , and won a nail bitter vs. New Mexico and while Kyle Field is a tough place to play it should not be enough to derail a Miami Victory. Expect the Canes to make a statement on Saturday with a big victory.
Miami 27 Texas A&M 3
The Aggies have struggled in their first two games and an injury to their starting quarterback won't make things any easier for them as they face a Miami team that comes in confident, rested, and prepared. The Hurricanes have stooped the run so far this season and this week will be no different. Texas A&M will be forced to pass and Miami will create their first turnover of the season. Cooper and the rest of Miami 's running backs will be the focal point of Miami 's offensive attack and open up passing lanes for Miami to take chances down field. The Canes will dominate the running game and stop the Aggies ground attack on their way to a victory. Miami 27 Texas A&M 10
Lets be real here -- Texas A&M lost to Arkansas State in their opener and barely snuck by New Mexico. This does not look like one of the better opponents on Miami's schedule this season. Their offense ranks 109th in the country and they are 113th against the run on defense. If the Canes struggle to run on them, something A&M's first two opponents did with ease, or if they can't slow A&M's offense down it could be a long season. Having said all that, I don't think it'll be a problem scoring this week for Miami but don't expect the team to go from having several drives stalled to putting up a bunch of touchdowns in another tough road environment. Hopefully the defense and/or special teams can create some points, as Coach Shannon talked about how one of the three main things the team worked on during its off week was forcing turnovers on defense. While some may hope for a blowout, I do too, but a win's a win anytime you're on the road against a Big 12 opponent and that's what I expect to see today. Canes 23, Texas A&M 14