October 10, 2008

Game Up Close: K-State at Texas A&M

Kansas State will bring it's high-powered passing attack and struggling defense to College Station, Texas this weekend for what could prove to be a pivotal game with Texas A&M. Both team's involved in Saturday's contest have underachieved so far this season, and this week's matchup will be a struggle between two capable offenses and a pair of lackluster defenses. Will K-State find its fourth win of the season or will A&M fullback Jorvorskie Lane and the Aggie ground game prove too much for the Wildcats to handle?

The Game Up Close:
Kansas State (3-2, 0-01)
vs. Texas A&M (2-3, 0-1)

Saturday, Oct. 11, 1:05 p.m. kickoff
Kyle Field, College Station, Texas

Texas A&M rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: allowing 192.4 yards per game, No. 101 nationally
TAMU rush offense: averaging 125.8 yards per game, No. 84 nationally

The breakdown: Different game, same story. The Aggies, who have been far from spectacular on the ground this season, should run the ball often Saturday and dare the Wildcat defense to stop them. And considering how K-State has performed against the run so far this year, it's a fantastic strategy. Texas A&M junior tailback Mike Goodson is averaging 5.4 yards a carry, and that number could very well increase come Saturday. But while Goodson has the ability to break a big play (see his 80-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State), the Aggies' run game can be particularly dangerous in short yardage situations, especially against a reeling K-State defensive front. A&M fullback Jorvorskie Lane, whose next touchdown will set a school record for rushing scores in a career, has gotten off to a bit of a slow start this season, but despite what the stat sheet says is as dangerous as nearly any fullback in the country. Wildcat defensive tackles Brandon Balkcom and Daniel Calvin will undoubtedly be tested when the Aggies hand the ball to the 270-pound, vertical running Lane. Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, whose status for Saturday's game is questionable, is also a threat to use his legs as weapons. The senior holds the A&M record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season, but McGee has carried the ball sparingly during his first year under new head coach Mike Sherman, and has gained just 10 yards on the ground this season. Jerrod Johnson, Sherman's other option at quarterback, has 144 yards rushing this season.

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