Ags Look To Improve Defense Against Miami

For the Aggies to be successful against Miami on Saturday, they will have to stop the Hurricane ground game. Defensive coordinator Joe KInes feels the pieces are moving in place to get that done.

Through the first two games of the season, the Texas A&M defense has been anything but solid—especially against the run. They've allowed more than 235 rushing yards per game against Arkansas State and New Mexico—hardly the type of competition they'll face later this year against the likes of Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas.

But A&M defensive coordinator says that he believes the problems are all fixable, it's just going to take some time.

"We've got two bricks and a little mortar in between those bricks and everyone wants to know what color the roof is," Kines said. "We're just now starting to put the bricks and mortar together. We're still tackling, we're still getting off blocks, we're still trying to run to the ball. Once we get that done, we can start worrying about something else. It's kind of like my wife's cooking. It's just a fact. You can like it or not like it, it's just a fact you've got to deal with and I've dealt with that for 48 years."

While he's dealt with his wife's cooking for nearly half a century, Aggie football fans won't be as patient for his defense to improve its seasoning.

However, Kines took full responsibility for the errors of his defense in the first two games that allowed big plays by opposing running backs.

"The thing that hurts you the most is when we're out of position and that's coaching, that's my fault," Kines said. "When we get them all in the right place, we'll be a better football team."

A&M safety Jordan Peterson says that he believes the Aggies are making ground in that area though.

"I think we've grown together as a team as far as trusting each other and knowing that everyone's going to be at the right spot at the right time," he said. "It's taken a couple of games to get to that point, but I think we're all starting to trust each other that we're going to be where we need to be."

The Aggies will definitely need to be in the right spot this Saturday against a Miami offense that is loaded with speed and strength, which drew comparisons to the Miami offense of old that led the Hurricanes to conference and national titles over the last two decades.

"Coach Shannon was there all those years and knows the style of play offensively they had in those days," Kines said. "They lined up in power and punched it down your throat and then they'd sling it out to their wide outs, they're heading that way again.

"(Miami) brings a lot of speed and a lot of size. The staff is really doing a good job with the young quarterback and group of receivers and their offensive line is huge. Robert Marve is a super quarterback and was the player of the year in Florida his senior year (in high school), so he's very capable. They also do a great job with the running game. It's a days work to defend this group."

The Miami offense is a faster unit across the board than the Aggies' defense, But Kines believes the Aggies have a chance as long as they're in the right spot at the right time.

"This game won't be any different than any other game," Kines said. "If we gap the run right, everyone's in the right place, we've got a chance. If you're not in the right place and you play a team with this power and this speed, then you're just rolling the dice. You might make a good play, but it will come back to bite you before the day's over."




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