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Trench War/Fare: Week 12

Come for the line talk, stay for the food

Texas A&M v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

I didn’t think we’d be talking about the Aggies sitting at 3-7 after ten contests but here we are. Jake Hubenak had a great piece earlier this week with a general overview of what needs to be fixed with the struggling Texas A&M football team. At this stage, everything has to be aimed at getting this squad the best experience possible and beginning forming habits for next season. Unfortunately, with two units that have pretty much been struggling with the same issues from the beginning of the season to now and an opponent in UMass who doesn’t bear much film consideration, we may be a little sparse on the football talk this week. With that being said, I’ll still talk about what went wrong at Auburn.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

I felt that the offensive line had made strides against Ole Miss, and to a lesser extent, Florida. That belief was erased after a disjointed performance against an Auburn defense that hasn’t exactly been stellar in 2022. We can’t place this all on the offensive line as the Aggies clearly missed Devon Achane and Moose Muhammad but they did give up three sacks to Auburn. The Aggies managed just 215 yards on the contest and struggled both in pass protection and in generating push in the run game. The issues with the offensive line are what they are. Communication in blitz pick up has failed and it still seems like we’re seeing a bit of overextension allowing defensive linemen to win one-on-one match-ups. UMass is an opportunity to get some valuable wins up front but I’m afraid the communication issues that have plagued A&M since day one simply aren’t going to be fixed this season.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

It was more of the same in defending the run for Texas A&M. Going into this contest knowing that Auburn would look to run the ball, the Aggies were still unable to slow the Tigers. Auburn ran for 270 yards on the day. I will say that it isn’t like Texas A&M is getting blown off the ball up front - we simply aren’t seeing defensive linemen shed blocks effectively up front. The fits from the linebackers have been poor at times as well and it seems like the defensive backs are really getting sucked in on the edges and losing contain. Additionally, A&M is struggling to bring down ball carriers at first contact allowing for extra yards that opposing teams shouldn’t be able to find. Once again, Texas A&M should get something of a reprieve against a UMass offense that hasn’t moved the ball well at all this season.


Crispy Pork Belly and Mole from The Big Belly Tour Featuring Hoodoo Brown BBQ and Feges BBQ
Jay Arnold - Good Bull Hunting

Last week, I was lucky enough to be at The Big Belly Tour when it hit Feges BBQ. What is the Big Belly Tour you might ask? It is a wonderful series of events put together by Cody Sperry of Hoodoo Brown BBQ where he has taken his smoker from the home of Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield, CT on a tour around the country to different barbecue joints where they serve Hoodoo Brown’s famous crispy pork belly in the name of the Hogs for the Cause Charity. At Feges BBQ in Houston last week, the pork belly was served with a rich and delicious mole that did incredible things to the senses and that crispy skin on the pork belly is a magnificent sensation. With Texas A&M’s opponent this week also being from New England, I figured it would be a perfect time to highlight Cody and the great folks of Hoodoo Brown BBQ.

What are you cooking up for Texas A&M’s meeting with UMass? Let us know in the comments.