Gameday Preview: Texas A&M at K-State

If Iowa State vs. Kansas State was Farmageddon, what does that make Texas A&M vs. Kansas State? The Aggie Bowl?

Whatever people call it, it is an important game for both sides. Kansas State is looking to go back above .500 and take a run at a 3-1 conference start. Texas A&M is seeking its first Big 12 win and trying to inch closer to bowl eligibility.

The Vegas oddsmakers have the Aggies as a five-point favorite, and the game should be a close one.

About Texas A&M
After last week’s performance at Texas Tech, Kansas State’s defense would seem to be getting a break against Texas A&M tomorrow.

After all, no one in the country is as well known for lighting up the scoreboards as Texas Tech is.

So in that respect, the Wildcats will have an easier time handling the Aggies at Snyder Family Stadium. But K-State’s defense will still have its hands full.

Against New Mexico, they scored 41 points. Against Utah State, they scored 38. They dropped 56 on UAB and last week put up 31 in a home loss to Oklahoma State.

Aside from a 19-point outing against Arkansas, the Aggies have been scoring at will this season.

That offense starts with quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who leads the Big 12 in total offense. He is averaging 356 yards per game. Texas A&M’s running backs are also combining to pile up 190 yards per game.

For that reason, K-State defenders respect Texas A&M just as much as Texas Tech. Unlike the Red Raiders, the Aggies are capable of throwing and running the ball.

On defense, the Aggies allow nearly 30 points per game and have given up 47 and 36 in their past two games. Von Miller leads the nation in sacks with nine.

About Kansas State
Once again, the starting quarterback situation is up in the air. Who will it be, Grant Gregory or Carson Coffman? Whoever it is, he will need to play well early against Texas A&M.

What hurt the Wildcats as much as anything against Texas Tech was scoring no points in the first half. They couldn’t beat Louisiana-Lafayette doing that, either. Today, K-State will need to move the ball throughout the game and score at least three touchdowns.

That is K-State’s magic number. Undefeated when scoring at least 21 points. Winless when scoring fewer.

Maybe the Wildcats will lean more on Daniel Thomas to reach that goal. Maybe they’ll even use both Thomas and Keithen Valentine (the Big 12′s leader in rushing average) to establish a running game.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said that is what he is most worried about.

“I remember watching Coach Snyder’s teams when I was in Green Bay. When we would go through draft meetings and what not, and throw his teams on, you’d see hard-nosed, tough players. The same is true right now. They run the ball about as effectively as you can. They have a big back and offensive line. They’re a power running team.”

Advantages:

When Texas A&M runs the ball: Texas A&M

When Texas A&M throws the ball: Texas A&M

When K-State runs the ball: K-State

When K-State throws the ball: Texas A&M

Special Teams: K-State

Coaching: Push

Prediction: Texas A&M 24, K-State 20