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Opponent Preview: Texas A&M’s Defense

Texas A&M defenders will be licking their chops.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State is set for a 3 p.m. CT showdown with No. 11 Texas A&M on Saturday inside Davis Wade Stadium.

The Bulldogs have turned the ball over 14 times and are coming off a game where they threw six interceptions against Kentucky, so the Texas A&M defenders will be licking their chops. The Aggies rank tied for 46th with four turnovers forced this season.

In Week 1, the Aggies surrendered just 12 points and 255 yards of total offense by Vanderbilt, including just 150 yards passing. Statistically, Texas A&M boasted one of the best defenses in the Southeastern Conference.

Then Texas A&M gave up 52 points to No. 2 Alabama and 38 points to No. 10 Florida. The Aggies rank 61st in scoring defense in giving up 34.0 points per game.

Texas A&M’s defense ranks 39th in total defense in allowing 400.3 yards per game, 18th in rushing defense in allowing 101.3 yards per game and 64th in passing defense in allowing 299.0 yards per game. The defensive front is the strength of the Aggie defense, allowing just 3.4 yards per rush, so Mississippi State’s lackluster rushing numbers may very well continue in this week’s contest.

Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson is the anchor of the Texas A&M defense. He has recorded 30 tackles and a forced fumble so far this year. Sophomore defensive back Demani Richardson is second in tackles with 17 and has an interception to his credit, too. Junior defensive back Leon O’Neal Jr. has tallied 15 tackles and an interception, while senior linebacker Aaron Hansford has also recorded 15 tackles.

We’ll see if the Aggies continue the trend of rushing three to counter the Air Raid offense, and if they do, the Bulldogs need to try to get the running game going.

The game will be airing on ESPN.