Texas A&M won ugly on Saturday over the Colorado Buffaloes, mostly on the heels of an absolutely dominant defensive performance in the second half. While they got gashed by the run early in the game, they made adjustments and simply dominated the line of scrimmage in the third and fourth quarters, allowing the offense time to figure things out and get in the endzone with just minutes remaining. Let’s look at some numbers that illustrate just how dominant that second half defense was:
52: Second half yards allowed by the Texas A&M defense.
At the half, the Colorado offense had outgained the A&M offense by 127 yards (208-81). By the end of the game, they trailed A&M in total yards by 28 (288 to 260). Holding a team to just 52 yards in the second half is almost mind-boggling.
50: The yard line the Buffaloes never crossed in the second half
That’s right, the Aggie defense never allowed Colorado to cross midfield for the entirety of the third and fourth quarter.
12: Plays of two yards or less for the Buffaloes
With a team so focused on the run like Colorado, keeping them behind the chains is essential. Limiting these runs really changed what Colorado wanted to do, and the results were obvious.
6: Successful third down stops
Colorado was 4-for-8 on third down conversions in the first half, but 0-for-6 in the second half. Getting off the field helped keep this defense fresh, and kept giving out offense opportunities that they eventually capitalized on.
2: Second half Colorado firsts downs
Just as impressive as the 52 yards allowed is the fact that the Aggies only allowed two second half first downs. At the half, Colorado had 12 first downs to A&M’s 3. Both teams finished the game with 14 first downs.
0: Second half points allowed
Obviously this is the most important number. On a day when the offense looked lost save for a couple of drives, holding the Buffaloes in check long enough for the offense to figure things out undoubtedly made the difference between a win and a loss.