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Trench War/Fare: ULM

Come for the line talk, stay for the food

Texas A&M v Miami Photo by Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images

Texas A&M lost, now what?

Robert already gave his input on the best and worst-case scenarios for the season, but today I’ll be looking at what the possible outcomes are from the trenches.

We’ll start with the offensive side of the ball. Apologies ahead of time but my focus here is not on key matchups with the Warhawks. Rather, I looked at what Texas A&M needs to do going forward if this season is not going to be an incredible disappointment and if this Texas A&M coaching staff hopes to remain in College Station.

Offensive Line

Texas A&M v Miami Photo by Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images

Conner Weigman, in my opinion, is the most talented signal-caller Texas A&M has had in a long time. The problem is this offensive line group has not shown the ability to keep him upright when teams bring pressure - nor have they shown a consistent ability to establish the run.

Both things are important.

I’m not convinced the talent isn’t there but I do wonder if the Aggie staff will be able to maximize the talent in spite of the flaws.

Miami brought exotic looks and pressure constantly against Weigman (who miraculously managed to avoid taking a sack). The pressure also proved to have an impact against the run game of the Aggies.

The most concerning aspect? Adjustments weren’t made at the half.

Miami found success with corner blitzes and the Aggies seemed to just accept that those blitzes were going to result in quarterback pressure.

The offensive line absolutely has to do a better job at picking up those blitzing players. Both the communication and technical aspects of blitz pick-up are currently lacking.

The good news? You have an opponent in Louisiana-Monroe that should allow you to get better against exotics.

If the Aggies continue to struggle against pressure, mix in more screens and draws to capitalize on aggressive defenses.

I hope that on Saturday Texas A&M attempts to establish the run early. Perhaps a dominant performance against an inferior opponent will allow this unit to get better. Hopefully, there’s a bit of fire in the performance as well.

Set the tone for the rest of the season with this performance.

Defensive Line

Texas A&M v Miami Photo by Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images

Texas A&M’s defensive line struggled against the run last year while simultaneously failing to rush the passer.

The result was a defense that ranked near the bottom of the nation in rushing yards allowed per game.

The Aggies have improved leaps and bounds against the run, holding opponents under 100 yards rushing in both games so far - something they failed to do even once last year.

However, the Texas A&M defensive line is still struggling to generate a pass rush and Miami was able to capitalize on this to the tune of 48 points and 374 yards through the air. Admittedly, a large portion of this can be attributed to issues in the back end with both coverage and tackling but the Aggie defensive line is one of the most talented units in the country on paper and desperately needs to help out their secondary.

The old adage for defensive linemen is that you have to be sound against the run before you can earn the right to rush the passer.

Through the first two games, I think the unit has proved they’ve improved against the run. A large part of the failure to generate a pass rush, from what I’ve seen, is a conservative approach.

It’s time to give the fellas their due and turn them loose.

Against ULM on Saturday, I hope to see this unit turn up its aggression levels and force ULM into bad situations by pressuring the QB. The defensive line is too talented to continue restraining.

Of course, the key aspect for both units will be in-game adjustments. If the Aggies continue to fail to adjust to changing tactics - none of this matters and the staff will likely be on their way out.


Lousiana Poulet Pot Pie from Elsie’s Plate & Pie in Baton Rouge, LA
Jay Arnold- Good Bull Hunting

Much like New Mexico earlier in the season, my passion for Louisiana cuisine is well documented. One of my absolute favorite restaurants in the state was introduced to me courtesy of a recommendation from LSU Tailgate God, Zach Rau.

An unassuming joint on the outside, Elsie’s Plate & Pie sees crowds come in from the moment they open for good reason. The food is absolutely to die for.

On my most recent stop at Elsie’s on a road trip to Richmond, I opted for the Louisiana Poulet Pot Pie - a savory dish featuring smoked chicken, roasted peppers, tasso cream sauce, and a flaky crust to die for.

I realize Monroe is a little north of Baton Rouge but anytime I get a chance to talk about one of my favorite Red Stick establishments, I have to capitalize.

P.S. They also have crawfish queso served with fried pork skins that will blow your mind.

Crawfish Queso from Elsie’s Plate & Pie in Baton Rouge, LA
Jay Arnold- Good Bull Hunting

What’s on your menu for Texas A&M’s matchup with the ULM Warhawks?