We are only a few hours away from kickoff and a maroon and white explosion in Starkville. We caught up with James Gardner over at Good Bull Hunting, our Texas A&M friends on SB Nation to take a look at the game from their perspective.
1) Quite a few folks expected A&M to be down this year. Does their early success surprise you?
Definitely. I thought the offense would put up plenty of points because that's what Sumlin does and there was still a ton of skill talent that often got overlooked when Johnny was running the show. The defense, though. I have been very surprised. They're still super young and raw, but the talent and depth is starting to surface. Our D was such a trainwreck last year, and I fully expected them to be our undoing this year.
2) What has allowed Kenny Hill to come in and succeed so quickly?
Kenny came from a big time high school program in Southlake Carroll (Greg McElroy, Chase Daniel, etc.) and has been running versions of the Texas spread since he was little. He had all the pedigree to succeed. Couple that with a pretty big arm and underrated athleticism, he's shown he can be big time. It also doesn't hurt to have a wealth of talent around him.
3) Last year, the Aggies were gashed a bit on defense. How has that unit looked this year?
My tune may change after October when shit gets real, but I've been very pleased with the defense. I think the biggest changes are 1) they can actually pressure a quarterback 2) there's enough depth in the front seven to not be trashed in the 4thquarter 3) there are signs of that elusive, subjective swagger.
4) What do you see as the most important matchup in this game?
It's cliché, but I'm interested to see what shakes out on the line of scrimmage. I'll be interested to watch A&M's young, athletic front seven go against State's line and Dak. I'll also be interested to see what A&M can do on the ground against the best defense we've faced so far.
5) How do you see this game shaking out Saturday?
We're all drinking maroon kool aid and Everclear, so I'll say Ags 41-Bulldogs 38. Rational Ags are nervous as hell about this one though. Should be fun. Thanks, y'all.