November 6, 2006

Defensive adjustments not enough for A&M in loss

The Texas A&M defense started slow by giving up back-to-back 80-yard touchdown drives, but held the Sooner offense to three points the rest of the game in a 17-16 loss at Kyle Field Saturday.

For those younger fans who wondered what the Wrecking Crew defense was like stopping the run, you saw it Saturday in the final three quarters. After getting pounded for nearly 200 yards in the first quarter, defensive coordinator Gary Darnell brought the safeties up in run support and consistently put 8-9 men in the box.

A&M's Wrecking Crew consistently played with 8-9 men in the box, and relied on its all-American corners like Aaron Glenn, Ray Mickens and Kevin Smith to play on an island for 60 minutes. People talk about the A&M linebackers as being the key to those defenses, but it was the defensive backs that gave the staff confidence in flooding the line of scrimmage.

In the second half, OU was held to 63 yards of total offense on seven possessions. Four of those drives were three-and-outs. The longest drive was 27 yards and the most plays in a drive were six.

Those kind of dominating defensive numbers win football games. Unfortunately, it didn't win this game.

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