No. 16 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-3 SEC) will take to the turf at Kyle Field for the last time this season on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. CT against the Prairie View A&M Panthers (7-2, 6-1 SWAC), in a game some consider to be a warm-up for the LSU Tigers the following week.
Not so fast, my friend. There is still much to watch for on Saturday for Senior Day, a day we might also refer to as Junior Day for some Aggies, as seniors and possibly some juniors too, will be playing their last game at Kyle Field.
One of the weaknesses of the Aggies this season has been the offense. Due to injuries, the offensive line has been somewhat of a mess, although it's found itself in recent weeks. There has also been questionable play at quarterback at times this season, again due to an injury, this time to starting quarterback Haynes King early in Week 2, Zach Calzada has started every game since.
The offense, in general, has had hits (see Alabama) and misses (see Arkansas, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss).
We'll be watching how this offense performs against the Panthers, to see if the offensive line can continue gelling and if quarterback play is better. Overall, we will be looking for extended, consistent drives, and most importantly, touchdowns.
A&M scored just one touchdown on offense against Arkansas, a loss. It scored just two touchdowns on offense against Mississippi State, a loss. The Aggies failed to score a touchdown on offense against Auburn but won thanks in part to a defensive score, and they found two late offensive touchdowns against Ole Miss, a loss.
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See the pattern? Let's see if this can be corrected against the Panthers on Saturday.
And what of the defense? It's looked much like the old 'Wrecking Crew' teams from 30 years ago, also a very dominant defense that had to deal with an average-at-times offense.
The good news is there will be some returning names next season on the defensive side of the ball. The bad news is, well, just look at the names leaving: Leon O'Neal Jr. and Keldrick Carper, defensive tackle Jayden Peevy and defensive end Michael Clemons. Add to the list junior defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal, who's expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft next year.
Ouch. Look for defensive coordinator Mike Elko to mix in some youth on Saturday to start the evaluation process for not just LSU, but for next season.
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