Over the month of July we will look at the top college football teams in the nation and preview the top 31 teams in 31 days. When you are done reading dont forget to signup for our college football sports picks. Here is team #29 and the 2010 Texas A&M Aggies Football Preview.
No. 29 Texas A&M Aggies
2009 record: 6-7
2009 Bowl Game: 20-44 loss to Georgia in Independence Bowl
2009 ATS: 6-7
Returning starters: 16 (7 on offense, 9 on defense)
The Aggies shattered several school records behind the strong arm of dual-threat Jerrod Johnson. The quarterback threw for 3,579 yards and 30 touchdowns and added 506 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. He showed some accuracy too and threw only eight interceptions.
Sophomore running back Christine Michael led the team with 844 yards and ten touchdowns last season. He was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the year as a true frosh in 2009. Their second option in the backfield is no drop-off either. Cyrus Gray ran for 757 yards and five touchdowns.
The Aggies’ receivers are right there with the top of the Big 12. Uzoma Mwachukwu (708 yds, 6 TD), Jeff Fuller (568 yds, 7 TD), and Ryan Tannehill (609 yds, 4 TD) are all returning and looking to build on their 2009 numbers.
The offensive line returns four starters and should be as strong as last season. They look to be healthier as well.
The Aggies’ defense leaves some question marks, but they should be good enough to allow the high-flying offense to win games for them. Texas A&M has been known to produce great talent at linebacker and the Aggies are banking on OLB Von Miller to have another great season.
Miller had 17 sacks last season and added 4.5 tackles for a loss. He is a force in the Aggies defense and looks to go on the hunt for quarterbacks again in 2010. He is hoping for help from Eddie Brown who had our sacks and three tackles for a loss last season.
The secondary has been the weak spot for the Aggies in recent years, and they will have to replace three players from last year. They have added depth and return four players with starting experience, so they could see some improvement.
Kicker Randy Bullock was perfect on extra points, making 51 of 51. He struggled a little bit on field goals, connecting on only 12 of 19 attempts. He showed that he has the leg and accuracy to make long field goals, and hit a 50-yarder against Oklahoma State.
He went 3-for-4 from 29 yards and under, 5-for-7 from 39 and under, 3-6 from 49 and under, and 1-2 from 50+ yards. His second attempt at a 50-yarder came in the Independence Bowl, and the kick was blocked.
The Aggies finished at the bottom of the conference in the major special teams statistics. They struggled on punt returns, punting, and kickoff coverage. Dustin Harris only averaged 7.9 yards on punt returns, and Ryan Epperson punted the ball for an average of 35.2 yards.
They did show some promise on kick returns, with Cyrus Gray (23.8 avg, 1 TD) and Lionel Smith (21.4 avg).
Against the spread
The Aggies went 6-7 against the ncaa football betting lines last season. They were 4-1 as the home favorite and 0-2 as the away favorite. They went 1-1 as the home underdog and 1-1 as the away underdog as well.
They are 10-15 ATS under third year head coach Mike Sherman and 50-66-2 in the past ten seasons. They went 4-4 ATS in conference play and 2-3 against non-conference opponents.
You can bet on it
Despite struggling ATS in non-conference matchups last season, the Aggies game against Louisiana Tech should be a good one to bet on. The teams face off at Kyle Stadium on Sep. 11.
Texas A&M holds a 9-0 record over the Bulldogs, and the Aggies have done well at home against non-conference opponents. They hold a 14-2 record in non-conference road games and have outscored opponents by an average of 28 points in that situation.
Favor the fade
Fade the Aggies in the Southwest Classic against Arkansas on Oct. 9. The game will be held at a neutral site, and Texas A&M is 3-17 against non-conference BCS teams since the start of the Big 12.
Arkansas came from behind to win last year’s matchup, scoring 30 unanswered points in the process.