Texas A&M Win Total Prediction
Entering a second year under Jimbo Fisher, can the Texas A&M Aggies put up a strong year and contend for championships in 2019?
Fisher led Texas A&M to a 9-4 record in his first season as head coach of the Aggies last year. They were 5-3 in SEC play, finishing tied for second in the West. According to oddsmakers, the Aggies come into this season with an over/under of 7.5 wins. The over is listed with -150 odds, while the under is set at +130.
The Aggies had a pretty solid offense in 2018 despite the coaching change, as they averaged 36 points and 471.8 yards per contest. Their run game put up nearly 220 yards per game, but they lose Trayveon Williams, who rushed for 1,524 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jashaun Corbin looks for an expanded role this year after putting up 305 yards in 2018. Quarterback Kellen Mond is also a rushing option. He rushed for 389 yards and six touchdowns last year while throwing for 2,967 yards and 23 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Up front, Texas A&M has four starters back on the line, so you can expect even stronger offensive numbers for 2019.
The Aggies gave up 25.3 points and 348.4 yards per game last season, which were strong numbers compared to previous seasons. They ranked third in the nation in rush defense, allowing 95.2 yards per game. The problem this year is the unit loses a lot of starters. Texas A&M has its top three sack leaders from 2018 in the NFL now. Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike will have to lead the unit after 4.5 sacks and 38 tackles a year ago. Turnovers were an issue last year, as they had just five interceptions and four fumble recoveries for the season.
Texas A&M has three easy non-conference games and one very difficult one. The Aggies will host Texas State and Lamar, but head to Clemson on Sept. 7. They also will host UTSA later in the season. In SEC play, the Aggies host Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina. A&M will make road trips to Ole Miss, Georgia and LSU.
On paper, A&M looks like it should have a really strong offense. The question will be how the defense handles replacing so many impact players, especially up front. Fisher had seven straight 9+-win seasons at FSU before a poor 2017. His first year with the Aggies was promising, but the SEC schedule is no treat. Add in a road trip to a dominant Clemson team, and getting to eight wins will be a challenge. With three sure-fire non-conference wins, the Aggies will need five wins in SEC play. That would mean A&M will need to win all five at home, including Bama, or pick up a road win over Ole Miss, Georgia or LSU. I don’t like their chances against the Tide, at Georgia or at LSU. Mix that with a loss to Clemson and A&M can’t had a down game the rest of the way. I just don’t trust that to happen with a very inexperienced defense.
College Football Prediction: Texas A&M Under 7.5 wins +130