Wrecking Crew Faces Tough Challenge

Defense has been the pride of Texas A&M football for a long time, but the Wrecking Crew defense will face it's toughest opponent of the season when the Aggies enter Jones Stadium on Saturday. Can the Aggies slow down the Red Raiders' spread offense?

With Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons getting national attention after a couple of outstanding games, the Aggies would like nothing more than to shut down the Red Raiders as they try to claim a victory in Lubbock. Last Season Texas Tech scored 48 points as they beat A&M in overtime. This season the offense is even more potent.

So far Red Raider opponents have focused on stopping the run, and forcing Symons to beat them with his arm. This did result in a victory for North Carolina State, but didn't help Ole Miss. In both cases the Red Raiders were able to gain a lot of yards regardless of what the defense did. What would happen if a team focused on the pass?

In recent years the way teams defended the Red Raiders was by keeping their defensive backs in a soft zone. This allowed defenses to keep the speedy Texas Tech receivers in front of them. The problem with this is that the Red Raiders are a better offense this season. Symons has shown a nice touch on the deep ball, so if defenses are going to keep the receivers in front of them, they will be ineffective against the run or short pass. While Taurean Henderson hasn't had great numbers in the first four games, he is still a threat to break a long play anytime he touches the ball. With the emergence of Johnnie Mack, the offense has another weapon to add to it's arsenal.

It's likely that the Aggies will try to blitz Symons as much as possible. This will force the defensive backs into single coverage. I'm not sure that the Aggie secondary has the ability to cover the Texas Tech receivers all game. If the Aggies can get pressure, they might force some turnovers. If they don't force turnovers, look for Symons to have another huge game as the Red Raiders emerge victorious.

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