With spring practice well underway, and going very well based on the videos uploaded of players doing the dreaded gauntlet, its time to look at the three big questions the Texas A&M Aggies have going into the 2015 season.
Three Questions for Texas A&M Heading into 2015
How will the defence fare under new co-ordinator John Chavis?
Despite another stellar recruiting class for Texas A&M under Head Coach Kevin Sumlin, the hire of John Chavis as defensive co-ordinator from LSU was easily the biggest move for the Aggies this off-season. The Aggies finished last in the SEC in total defense the last two seasons so need to make improvements if they are to live up to pre-season expectations.
John Chavis has his hands full taking over a unit which is starting to amass talent through strong recruiting classes but they are generally young players. Players like defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Victor Davis have shown flashes of talent but have only had one season of game time and need to be more consistent. A coach with the talent of John Chavis should improve this defense in year one, but it might take another year of players gaining experience and talent being added through recruiting before the Aggies have the sort of defence that Chavis created at LSU.
Will the offense lean more on the running game in 2015?
With Tra Carson and Brandon Williams returning to College Station this year, it gives them two good experienced running backs to help out the true sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen. Kevin Sumlin clearly likes to be pass-heavy running the Air Raid offense and the Aggies have an impressive group of wide receivers.
Yet it’s clear that having a more balanced offence is the key to this team being successful. The big win away at Auburn and the bowl win over West Virginia late last season showed how impressive this running game can be. Kyle Allen is still a relatively inexperienced quarterback having started just five games last year after taking the starting job from Kenny Hill so it would make sense to not making it all about him beating opposing defences.
Can the Aggies compete in the renowned SEC West with it being one of the toughest divisions in college football?
Last season all seven SEC West teams ended up being bowl eligible with the Arkansas Razorbacks finishing last at 6-6, but they are clearly an improving team based on how strongly they finished down the stretch. Most of the very early preseason top 25 rankings include all of the SEC West teams currently but in a very competitive division it’s inevitable that one or two teams will fall short of this expectation.
The Aggies pull South Carolina at home and Vanderbilt on the road from the SEC East which gives them a great chance of two wins before facing their division foes. The schedule also means that they don’t leave the state of Texas until their seventh game which is at Ole Miss which again is hugely beneficial. Assuming the offense continues to be as productive as it was under Kyle Allen last year then there’s no reason why Texas A&M can’t win eight games again next season with an improved defence.
Note: Due to the stadium renovations at Kyle Field, there will be no spring practice game this year.