Aggies aim for course correction in Houston
Kevin Sumlin-coached teams have developed a disturbing habit of stumbling toward the finish line in recent years. But can the Aggies rise to the occasion when they meet Kansas State in the Texas Bowl?
The two programs collide tonight, with a 9 p.m. ET kickoff at NRG Stadium. Online sports book BetDSI opened Texas A&M as a 2.5-point favorite over Bill Snyder’s group. The over/under is set at 56.
College Station’s finest went 1-3 in November to slip to 8-4 overall. A dose of good news arrived in time for the Aggies’ regular-season finale, though, as quarterback Trevor Knight (shoulder) returned from a two-game absence. The graduate transfer has thrown for 2,122 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2016.
Of course, Knight’s tremendous mobility will be just as important this evening. The Wildcats boast the nation’s 11th-best run defense. Senior end Jordan Willis knows how to harass opposing signal-callers, too, after tallying a Big 12-high 11 sacks during the fall.
Snyder’s secondary doesn’t enjoy quite the same sterling reputation, to put it kindly. Kansas State has permitted 13 receptions of 40-plus yards. That’s a particularly sobering fact entering a battle with the likes of burners Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds. Fellow wideout Speedy Noil, however, was suspended by Sumlin last week following a charge of misdemeanor drug possession.
Needless to say, KSU (8-4) must limit Knight’s aerial opportunities by chewing up the clock. The school had no problem accomplishing as much throughout conference play, holding the pigskin for nearly 33 minutes per contest. Irrespective of the tilt’s proximity to the Texas A&M campus, we trust Snyder’s troops to keep matters extremely close here.
WEDNESDAY NCAA PICK: KANSAS STATE +3