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A&M to face Mississippi State's tough secondary - Aggie Sports: Football

A&M to face Mississippi State's tough secondary

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:43 am, Thu Nov 1, 2012.

Whether the Mississippi State secondary can slow down Texas A&M's explosive offense is truly one of the major keys of Saturday's game pitting two top-20 teams playing for third in the SEC West.

"They're extremely talented, especially in the [secondary]," A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "That allows you to do a lot from a pressure standpoint when you've got guys that can cover."

Led by senior Johnthan Banks, an All-American and Jim Thorpe award candidate, the Bulldogs' pass defense has not allowed an opponent to throw for more than 200 yards so far this season. They're also ranked 13th in the nation with 12 interceptions.

"They've got length at the corners, and they were No. 1 in turnover margin going into last week," A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury said. "It's by far the most coverage looks we'll see. It's a huge challenge."

After falling to No. 1 Alabama 38-7 last week, Mississippi State still ranks sixth nationally in turnover margin and rankes first in turnover margin at home. Conversely, A&M ranks 101st in turnover margin on the road. For the Aggies to win, it will be paramount for freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel to protect the football, something he did in Saturday's 63-21 win over Auburn last week. That stopped a stretch of three games in which Manziel coughed up seven turnovers.

But even when Manziel has struggled to protect the ball, he's shown the ability to counteract bad plays with more good. And as the season has progressed, he's improved his passing to go with his amazing running skills, forcing defenses into a catch-22 when trying to stop him.

"If you give him all day to stand back there and throw the ball, he'll throw and beat you with his arm," Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said. "If you give him open spaces, he'll take off and beat you with his legs. You have to do everything to contain him."

And while Mississippi State has a good secondary, Mullen said it will be up to his front seven to contain Manziel and thus contain A&M's high-powered offense.

"You can't just let him sit there and throw the ball all day long, and you have to also do a good job of containing him and not letting him break into scramble mode and freelance, which is what he does best," Mullen said. "For us this is the biggest challenge. He can stay in the pocket and beat you, but he's much more dangerous when he starts to freelance on his own and create plays on his own."

Banks said the Bulldogs have closely watched film of A&M's losses to LSU and Florida, games in which both defenses were able to keep the Aggies' big plays to a minimum. A&M leads the nation in gains of more than 25 yards per 100 offensive plays, but Mississippi State ranks seventh in stopping explosive plays.

And as for their strategy, Banks said the Bulldogs have to make Manziel as uncomfortable as possible.

"That kid is an athlete playing quarterback. He makes stuff happen," Banks said. "We're going to go flying after him. We'll go out there and contain him."

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  • millers_ghost posted at 6:02 pm on Sat, Nov 3, 2012.

    millers_ghost Posts: 26

    Ok, 38-13 with our kicker missing another two FG and our D finally getting a pick.
    I'll take it - and for the record I liked the ninja uniforms.
    Loved 200+ on the ground that was not JFF.
    Gig 'Em - BTHO Bama!

  • millers_ghost posted at 3:39 pm on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    millers_ghost Posts: 26

    The bottom of this whiskey glass says A&M 42, State 21. [wink]
    That TV set better not sober me up tomorrow.

  • mart80 posted at 12:34 pm on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    mart80 Posts: 1885

    Sounds like we maybe getting a new stadium.

  • mart80 posted at 11:28 am on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    mart80 Posts: 1885

    I expect Bama will roll over LSU.

  • seeing stars posted at 11:10 am on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    seeing stars Posts: 271

    @ ags1975.........Alabama. By how much doesn't matter. Any win, especially one over LSU, keeps them at #1.

  • seeing stars posted at 5:44 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    seeing stars Posts: 271

    I think he is referring to "Matty Vice".

  • mart80 posted at 3:52 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    mart80 Posts: 1885

    Manziel was not on Honorable Dana Zachary's Court of Law #2,Misdameanor court docket 10/31/12.

  • mart80 posted at 3:37 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    mart80 Posts: 1885

    I will only say a contiuance was probably granted. Manziel will not see the judge till after the season.

  • '03-'08 posted at 1:29 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    '03-'08 Posts: 546

    [ohmy] .....Which Joeckel is it .....[smile]

  • ags1975 posted at 1:12 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    ags1975 Posts: 134

    there would have been a murder if they had done that too me and friends lol

  • gregwh posted at 1:10 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    gregwh Posts: 635

    Continuing to put a fine point on this: all Miss State wins against SEC teams are against 0fer teams. That's right. All three COMBINED have ZERO wins.

    We very well could expose Miss State. But the teams that gave Johnny fits were ones that took the pass away from him and then contained him to the pocket and just waited him out. That would be Florida and LSU.

  • gregwh posted at 1:08 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    gregwh Posts: 635

    I'm actually surprised Iowa State agreed to be on LHN. Of course, I'm sure there is a state-wide ESPN feed free of charge plus at least a couple of million payment. But Iowa State has beaten Texas at DKR Memorial under Rhoads and I wouldn't put it past them to do it again this year.

    You don't want THOSE GAMES hidden on a network with relatively minor viewership numbers. They're critical to recruiting in Texas and the LHN's reach in Texas is surprisingly limited.

  • TexAggies85 posted at 12:12 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    TexAggies85 Posts: 12

    According to Herbstreit, if A&M and Alabama win, game day will be in Tuscaloosa. Picture this, A&M would be part the game of the week, t.u. would be on the Longhorn network playing Iowa State.

  • gabe58 posted at 12:00 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    gabe58 Posts: 331

    Stars, the court docket shows the original name to be kind of smudged, and Joeckel has been written in the smudged area. In the “old days”, the original incident would have ended at the fight scene.[wink]

    An example of “making things right” in the “old days”: My older cousin and some of his Aggie Fish Buddies took some maroon and white paint to tu, to do their part to beautify America. Just as they got started, the police caught them. The police turned them over to the tu Campus Security folks. The Campus Security folks turned them over to the Texas Football Team. The tu football players shaved “T”s in the Aggies’ hair, took off the Aggies’ clothes and painted the Aggies orange and white, and sent them back to College Station.

  • ags1975 posted at 11:07 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    ags1975 Posts: 134

    @mart80 should know

  • seeing stars posted at 10:58 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    seeing stars Posts: 271

    Manziel's orginal court date was scheduled for Oct 31st. Anybody know results or if it was rescheduled?

  • ags1975 posted at 10:42 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    ags1975 Posts: 134

    what about @seeing stars

  • Aggiemike01 posted at 10:36 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    Aggiemike01 Posts: 140

    I say BAMA by 10. Bama 10 - LSU 0

  • ags1975 posted at 9:56 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    ags1975 Posts: 134

    prediction bama @ lsu

  • '03-'08 posted at 9:48 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    '03-'08 Posts: 546

    Every win from this point on just puts us in a bigger($$$) bowl game. I think we have the potential to rout Miss.St. IFwe establish an effective run game and no turnovers.

  • seeing stars posted at 9:35 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    seeing stars Posts: 271

    Miss States schedule is a big reason you must protect against being beaten by an overrated team. They have more to gain than you do. In the eyes of the nation, as well as the polls, you will fall farther with a loss than you will rise with a win.

  • ags1975 posted at 9:32 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    ags1975 Posts: 134

    i believe if we establish our running game it could be an auburn repeat.

  • Objective_Homer posted at 9:29 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    Objective_Homer Posts: 203

    good observation. Their side is probably thinking the same thing about us. We are yet to produce a win against a team ranked higher than us. Not saying we are losing this week but our wins are maybe slightly more impressive.

  • '03-'08 posted at 9:24 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    '03-'08 Posts: 546

    Notice that the Miss. St. coach didn't even mention our running game other than Johnny F Football. I'm OK with someone else getting the credit for a win as in our RB's and O-line and I'm sure JFF wouldn't mind it either.

  • DA truth posted at 9:20 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    DA truth Posts: 80

    I suggest that everyone take a look at MSU's schedule--save for almighty Alabama--they haven't played anyone!

    Sat, Sep 01 Jackson State Starkville W, 56 - 9

    Sat, Sep 08 Auburn * Starkville W, 28 - 10

    Sat, Sep 15 Troy Troy, AL W, 30 - 24

    Sat, Sep 22 South Alabama Starkville W, 30 - 10

    Sat, Oct 06 Kentucky * Lexington, KY W, 27 - 14

    Sat, Oct 13 Tennessee * Starkville W, 41 - 31

    Sat, Oct 20 Middle Tennessee [HC] Starkville W, 45 - 3

    Sat, Oct 27 Alabama * Tuscaloosa, AL L, 7 - 38

  • Awkane posted at 7:41 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    Awkane Posts: 51

    Okay, good luck with stopping our offense. You better hope we don't get our run going, cause when we do, we are unstoppable. Gig'em


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