Matchups: Week 12

Wes Maulsby

The Texas quarterback play has been abysmal. Kansas State scored 10 points directly off Texas interceptions on Saturday. Ryan Tannehill has passed for more than 3,100 yards this season with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has thrown for almost 500 yards in the last two games with six touchdowns to just one interception. More than half of his interceptions came in games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Texas has the top passing efficiency defense in the conference, so he will be facing his toughest opposition of the season, but he should do far better than the Texas quarterbacks who simply cannot make plays when they have to.
Advantage: Texas A&M

Running Back:
Texas and Texas A&M are both in the top 20 in rushing offense in the country, with Texas averaging just fewer than 224 yards per game, and the Aggies just fewer than 219. Though they were back on the field against Kansas State, the duo of Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron combined for just 74 yards. Texas A&M’s Christine Michael suffered a season-ending knee injury against Oklahoma, and so the burden has been put on Cyrus Gray to carry the load. He has rushed for 1,045 yards this season and has 312 yards over the last two games. Unless Texas has both backs at full health, Texas A&M has the advantage here, and may have it even if the Aggies aren’t at full speed.
Advantage: Texas A&M

The Aggies have four receivers with at least 200 yards receiving this season. Ryan Swope leads the team with 1,069 yards receiving and is Tannehill’s favorite target this season. Jeff Fuller hasn’t quite been putting up the numbers that he was expected to this season but is still a big target on the outside. Texas is led by Mike Davis, who has 554 yards receiving on 39 catches. With Shipley’s status still in question, Texas really doesn’t have many options at the wide receiver or the tight end positions. The Aggies have an obvious edge at the receiver position. They have four guys who can make plays in the passing game, while Texas has been trying to find an option at that position all season.
Advantage: Texas A&M

Offensive Line:
Texas A&M has allowed 14 tackles for loss in the last three games, with Oklahoma stopping the Aggies behind the line of scrimmage nine times. Texas A&M averages almost five and a half yards per carry on its way to being third in the conference in rushing this season, behind only Texas and Missouri. The Longhorns have allowed seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage in their last two losses, but only allowed the Wildcats get two tackles for loss. The offense has been comatose over the last two games, and the running game has not been what it was during Kansas and Texas Tech. The team that is best able to run the ball in this game will have an advantage, with Texas A&M likely having an easier time of pounding the ball on the ground.
Advantage: Texas A&M

Defensive Line:
Texas got to Kansas State behind the line of scrimmage 16 times on Saturday. Over the past four games, Texas has gotten 52 tackles behind the line of scrimmage with 14 sacks. The say that the Texas defensive line has come alive over the last four games would be understatement. Texas has held its last four opponents to a total of 218 yards rushing over the last four games, with Missouri getting 152 of those yards alone. Texas A&M has the 15th-ranked rush defense in the nation this year and have 34 tackles for loss over the last four games. Texas has made a living in the opposing backfield over the last few games, and that should continue this week.
Advantage: Texas

Texas so far and away has the best defense in the conference that it’s not even close. Texas has the No. 10 defense in the country, and the next closest team in the Big 12 is Oklahoma at No. 62. The Texas defense has been nasty over the last four games and should continue to play strong. The Aggies, meanwhile, have the No. 76 defense in the nation, and are allowing almost 30 points a game. Texas A&M has the overall offensive advantage in this game, but Texas has the overall defensive advantage in this one. If Texas is going to win this game, then the
defense has to show up in a big way. With the offense struggling the way that it is, the defense will have to hold the Aggies out of the end zone, and will need to start scoring itself. It’s overdue for some turnovers and thought it needs to do a lot, it is up to the task.
Advantage: Texas

Texas A&M can not defend the pass. The Aggies are ranked 118th in the nation in passing yards allowed. They allow nearly 300 yards per game through the air. Texas allows just fewer than 200 yards per game through the air and boasts one of the top passing efficiency defenses in the country, raking No.11 nationally. Texas has only gotten its hands on seven passes this season and hasn’t picked one off since intercepting Jordan Webb of Kansas. The Aggies have gotten their hands on six passes this season. Although the Aggie pass defense has been abysmal this year, it won’t be under fire very much considering the Texas passing offense has been nonexistent for most of the year. And though the Texas pass defense will be under fire more, it is better and more capable of handling it.
Advantage: Texas

Special Teams:
Texas finally got some yards in the punt return game against the Wildcats with Quandre Diggs gaining 45 yards on three punt returns. Texas A&M is in the bottom third of the nation in kickoff returns and is without a touchdown this season. Texas hasn’t gotten a lot out of the kickoff return department since Fozzy Whittaker got hurt. Texas used a Marquise Goodwin kickoff return to seal the win the last time Texas played in College Station, and another play like that will be necessary for Texas to generate some points against the Aggies. Both kickers have been good this year with Randy Bullock hitting on 84-percent of his field goals for the Aggies, and Justin Tucker hitting on 88-percent for Texas. Texas has a slim advantage here because of Tucker’s leg, and his ability to make good tackles for a kicker.
Advantage: Texas