Wow, it's Friday already! Who knew the week after a loss could go so fast? I guess that's what happens when, even in defeat, your team shows incredible grit and puts up a couple of epic individual performances in the process. Now that we've had a week to discuss and dissect the Alabama game, let's turn our focus to SMU. Here, like every week, are five stats to consider and how they might be relevant in the match-up tomorrow.
- 316/416. What are those numbers? The first number is how many yards per game SMU allows via the forward pass. That number tells us that only six teams in the whole country are allowing more yards per game passing than SMU is. The second number is how many yards per game A&M gains via forward airborne thrusts of the oblong pigskin. Only three teams in the country gain more yards per game than A&M in that manner. So... one of the best passing offenses versus one of the worst passing defenses equals? Anybody? Well, you'll see. Expect a huge day passing by the Aggies.
- 60/48. What are those numbers? The first number is the percent of 3rd downs that the A&M offense converts. That is very good. Last year A&M led the nation in 3rd down conversions with 55%. The second number is the percent of 3rd downs that SMU allows their opponents to convert. That is very bad. Thanks in large part to Johnny Manziel's mobility, A&M should continue to keep drives alive if and when they are forced into third down. Lots of passing yards and a high rate of 3rd down conversions mean that A&M should score a lot of points, as long as they don't turn the ball over.
- 0. What does that number represent? That number, that big fat goose egg, is the number of turnovers SMU has forced in their first two games. Well, that's no big deal, right? It's not like they're the only team in America to have not forced a turnover, right? Well, wrong. SMU is indeed the only team in America that has not yet forced a turnover. Could they? Of course. Football is a weird game and the ball bounces in weird ways. But you look at these first three stats together, and it's all setting up for quite a big day from the Aggie offense.
- 1/10. What do those numbers represent? It's pretty interesting, actually. The first number is the number of touchdown passes SMU has thrown in their first two games. Just one. That's not exactly great, and it's particularly interesting considering how much SMU throws the ball. The second number is where SMU ranks nationally in passing yards per game. So SMU is 10th in the nation in passing yards, running a famous pass offense with a cool name, with a famous coach credited as being one of the innovators of said offense, yet they only have one touchdown pass, which for the record, puts them tied for dead last in the country. OK, we all know A&M has struggled defensively in their first three games. But the fact is, while SMU has put up some decent numbers in total yards, they have struggled to put the ball in the end zone and finish drives. Hopefully A&M can continue the trend.
- 400. What does that number represent? I'm actually just stealing this stat directly from the game notes posted on aggieathletics.com. Since going to an up-tempo, no huddle offense in 2009, A&M has gained 400+ yards 42 times in 55 games, including 28 games of 500+ yards. Compare that with the decade of games prior to 2009, in which A&M gained 400+ yards only 18 times in 116 games. Let's just be honest here. SMU doesn't stand a chance of stopping A&M.
- Bonus stat for the degenerate gamblers: The over/under on this game opened at 82, which is the highest number posted for any game so far this year. It has since dropped to 78 or 79 depending on where you look. In A&M's three games this year, the average total is a whopping 89 points. Highest in the country. If you like offense, there is no better game to watch than an A&M game. Until proven otherwise, I'm going to keep picking the OVER when it comes to these game. I'll take A&M over SMU, 66-24.