Pony Stampede TV: Football Friday Preview
SMU-Texas A&M Preview
By Billy Embody
What to Watch on Offense for SMU
The red zone. If SMU is going to have any shot at beating Texas A&M it will need to convert any opportunities in the red zone into touchdowns. It has been a struggle for SMU for a while now and if it doesn't improve, there is a good chance SMU will not make it back to a bowl this year. Garrett Gilbert has one touchdown pass on the year, and he'll need to improve that by at least 400 percent for SMU to have a shot at the upset. Play calling and utilizing different players in the red zone could help the Mustangs cause as well.
What to Watch on Offense for Texas A&M
Johnny Football. Prepare for the spectacle that is Johnny Manziel, the most electrifying player college football, to tear apart the SMU defense. SMU is going to take its lumps trying to stop the Heisman Trophy winner and he has improved this year. With new top target, 6-foot-5, 225-pound Mike Evans on the outside, Manziel has a target he can trust and go to at anytime. Manziel torched the Alabama defense last weekend in his losing effort and look for him want to get that winning feeling back.
What to Watch on Defense for SMU
The Secondary. It has been a struggle in the secondary this season and against Texas A&M the struggles will likely continue so SMU has to force turnovers. SMU has not caused a turnover this season, which is surprising considering last season's performance. What was thought to be the strength of the defense is now a huge question mark. Alabama was able to take advantage of a couple ill-advised throws from Manziel and it cost the Aggies the game. If SMU can finally force some turnovers, about four or five of them, SMU may be able to upset the Aggies.
What to Watch on Defense for Texas A&M
The pass rush. SMU has had some offensive line struggles and Tyrone Taylor, who was expected to pick up the slack after Damontre Moore's departure, will have a chance to rack up a couple sacks. Texas A&M has only had three sacks on the year though and if SMU has sorted out its offensive line issues, Gilbert has a chance to have a good day. It will all come down to A&M being able to get pressure on Gilbert for them to be able to disrupt the SMU offense.
Key to the Game
Red Zone. If SMU can convert any opportunities they get into touchdowns, and the Aggies can be held inside the red zone to field goals.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins, 62-17.
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