X-Factor of the Week – Texas A&M Edition


Every week there will be one player or coach who will be considered the x-factor.  The x-factor is player/coach who will really need to perform well that week, in order for the Dawgs to come away with a win.  Essentially the x-factor is the make-or-break position on the field for that week.

This week the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1) will travel to College Station to face the 14th ranked Texas A&M Aggies (4-0, 1-0) in the first SEC game in the newly renovated Kyle Field.  The Aggies bring a high powered offense to the table, that averages 41.5 points per game and 471.5 yards per game.  This is just what college football fans have come to expect from a Kevin Sumlin offense.  The Aggies are led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen, averaging 238 yards per game.  He is also completing his passes at a 65.3% clip.  The Aggies have one of the best receiving corps in the nation.  Freshman Christian Kirk leads the way averaging 110.5 yards per game with 4 touchdowns on the season.  Josh Reynolds returns as one of Allen’s top targets, averaging 60.5 yards per game and 3 touchdowns on the season.  Tra Carson leads a rushing attack that often goes unlooked.  Carson averages 80 yards per game.

The Bulldogs can expect A&M to try to throw the ball all over the field.  Kyle Allen is a very talented QB, and as mentioned above the Aggies have one of the best wide receiving corps in the nation.  When I first sat down to write this article, it seemed obvious that the x-factor would be the secondary.  I do believe that the secondary will have to play phenomenally to come away with a win; however, I believe that A&M has too many weapons at wide receiver.  Therefore, the x-factor of the week goes to the defensive line.  They will need to put pressure on Allen and not give the receivers time to get open.  If Mississippi State gives Allen time to throw in the pocket, A&M will pick the Dawgs apart.  The receivers are too talented and Allen is too good.  A. J. Jefferson will have to continue his destructive ways this season.  He leads the team in tackles for loss this season, and is one of the best in the SEC.  Chris Jones and Nick James have both shown significant improvement this season.  Ryan Brown, as a senior, knows what it takes to win on the road in the SEC.  They will all need big games this week if the Dawgs want to get a second consecutive SEC road win.  It is vital that they get into the backfield and avoid Kyle Allen getting comfortable in the pocket.  Manny Diaz will need to get creative with blitz packages to keep Allen on his toes all night.  If Allen is uncomfortable standing in the pocket, the Bulldogs will win the football game.  The defensive line will have to play their best game of the season.  Look for them to show out on Saturday night.