October 9, 2006

Defense holds strong

The Texas A&M defense did something they haven't done since the days of the Wrecking Crew - win a football game. Even though it was the offense that scored the game winner in the closing seconds, none of that would have mattered if the defense had not turned back the Kansas offense in several crucial situations with none as crucial as the third-and-one attempt that was stuffed with just over three minutes. If Kansas converts on that play, the game is over.

Then again, the defense had its back against the wall in terms of field position all day and stood tall, keeping the Aggies in the game. On three occasions the Jayhawks started drives inside A&M territory at the 46-, 22-, and 38-yard line, and they came away with only three points.

Overall, the A&M defense held KU to 288 yards of total offense. That includes the 48-yard fake punt that led to their first touchdown. So, in essence, the defensive unit gave up only 240 yards to the same team that torched Nebraska for 574 yards the previous week. Third down conversions have been the Achilles' heel of A&M's defenses in the Dennis Franchione era, but Saturday was a different story limiting Jayhawks to only three-of-15 attempts.

No matter how you slice it, the defense under Gary Darnell came up big for a crucial Big 12 road win, and that is something Aggie fans have been hungry to see for the past four seasons.

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