Big D's keys to success

Each week, Aggie Websider provides its keys to success. This week, Dallas Shipp takes a look at Miami and what the Aggies need to do to leave South Beach with Dennis Franchione's first non-conference win on the road.

1. Avoid the big play and turnovers
Don't turn the ball over, giving Miami a chance to either stay in the game or jump out to a big lead. The Aggies are 21-3 in games with a turnover margin advantage. In games with an even or minus turnover margin, the Aggies are 7-20. Turnovers aren't the only big play that Aggies need to avoid though. The Hurricanes have trouble finishing in the redzone. They've only scored on 75 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line and have scored touchdowns on half (The Aggies are a perfect 20-for-20 with 15 touchdowns in the redzone). The Aggies have got to keep the play in front of them and make tackles. Missed tackles will be a huge problem if the Aggies want to leave South Beach with a W.

2. Neutralize Miami's speed
Speed kills—and Miami has lots of it on both sides of the ball. The A&M offensive line has to make sure they finish their blocks. If they try to block with their hands the Miami defensive line is going to bounce off them and make the play. The best way to beat speed is with power and the Aggies have lots of that—his name is Jorvorskie Lane. On defense, the Aggies will have to put pressure on Kyle Wright and force the receivers to settle for the short routes. It will be a test for the secondary to defend the speedy Hurricane receivers. Don't be surprised to see large cushions. They can't afford to give up the big play.

3. Martellus Bennett
The linebackers for Miami are apparently not the best in pass coverage. To quote one of the Miami fans, "the next player they successfully cover will be their first." That's not a good recipe for defending Bennett. With additional motivation from Bennett, playing against the school he originally verbally committed to, the 6-foot-8 tight end could have a huge night at the Orange Bowl—just like he imagined four years ago. Kind of.

4. Pass like it's University of Louisiana-Monroe
Stephen McGee showed that he's comfortable throwing the ball against Louisiana-Monroe last weekend. This week, he'll need to repeat that performance—at least occasionally to help open the run for Lane, McGee and Goodson. This one shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's what you've been calling for all year. However, if the Miami front seven is unable to stop the run, don't expect to see much from McGee through the air. If they don't need it, they won't use it.

5. Special teams
This could be the biggest advantage that the Aggies have over the Hurricanes. Matt Szymanski will pin the Hurricanes deep on kickoffs and Justin Brantly could be huge in a game that will probably be dominated by the run. Field position could be key in a close game and his leg could be the difference maker late Thursday night. Both of them need to be aware of the tricky winds in the Orange Bowl though (think wide right). Kickers complain about kicking into the open end of the stadium, so hopefully they'll have lots of time to warm up on both ends before the game. Kerry Franks and Pierre Brown could also be important for the Aggies in order to start with better field position. The offenses and defenses of both teams are a pretty good match up overall, but this is one area that the Aggies have a huge advantage. Again, in a close game, the Aggies could win because of it.




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