Pitt and Texas A&M to play on national TV

The 19th ranked Panthers (2-1) travel to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies (2-1) 3:30pm Saturday. College Station is considered one of the toughest stadiums in all of college football for a visiting team. The Aggie crowd, known as the 12th Man, and the Wrecking Crew defense are just two reasons why so many teams struggle when playing there.

The Aggies return six starters on offense and three starters on defense from a team that finished 6-6 last season. One of those wins was against then-ranked #1 Oklahoma (30-26). The star of the Aggie offense is sophomore QB Reggie McNeal. He is a two-way threat who can hurt you with his arm and legs. He has legit 4.4 speed and has been compared by some to NFL star Michael Vick. McNeal has completed 30 of 52 passes for 360 yards and 2 TD's this season. He has also rushed for 74 yards on the season.

The leading rusher for A&M is freshman Courtney Lewis. He has rushed for 205 yards on 40 carries for a 5.1 yards per carry average. He has 4 rushing TD's on the season so far. The top two receivers are junior Terrance Murphy and senior Jamaar Taylor. Taylor has 11 catches for 112 yards and Murphy has 10 catches for 143 yards this season.

The Aggies are led on defense by senior LB Jarred Morris. He is an aggressive and hard-hitting linebacker and leader of the Wrecking Crew defense. The Aggie defense has built its reputation by playing an attacking style that puts pressure on the offense and forces it into mistakes. They have changed to a 4-3 style defense this season and are coached by former North Carolina head coach Carl Torbush.

Pitt looks to rebound from a 35-31 upset loss to Toledo last Saturday. The Pitt defense was shredded by the spread passing game of the Rockets. The Aggies upset #1 ranked Oklahoma last season on the strength of their deep passing game so the Panther defense must improve in a hurry. The Pitt offense will need to eliminate mistakes like the two turnovers and several illegal procedure penalties that they suffered last week in order to have any chance of pulling off the win in College Station. Texas A&M lost at Virginia Tech 35-19 last Thursday night. They defeated Pitt at Pittsburgh 14-12 last season.

Brian Gold
PittInsiders.com


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