The football season is just around the corner, and throughout the non-conference season here at the Connection and we will be interviewing various bloggers with five questions about the upcoming game. This edition features the blog up is I am The 12th Man which is a Texas A&M blog. Also, check out their site for my answers to the five questions later this week.
1. Last year Texas A&M lost their home opener to Arkansas State, how serious are the Aggies taking New Mexico?
The team has already indicated that the Arkansas State game is in the back of their collective mind, and they're ready to start the new season off right. My only concern would be with them getting overconfident because they did beat New Mexico last season on the road, but the fact that the Lobos are bringing in new coaches and a new scheme means we have an unknown factor in there, and that will make the team take them seriously.Last season, we had some issues with team chemistry, and players worried more about their individual success instead of the success of the team. Those players are gone now, and many of our younger players have stepped up to take leadership roles and take ownership of the program. We'll be ready for New Mexico.
2.What is expected for Quarterback Jerrod Johnson now that he does not have Stephen McGee hanging around?
Jerrod gained some valuable experience last season after taking over for McGee, throwing for a school-record 21 TDs. I think 3,000 yards passing, 25 or more TDs, and fewer interceptions than the 10 he had last season are all reasonable goals. I also think he'll have better rushing stats, and take fewer sacks with our revamped offensive line this season. Johnson has the size and skills to be a very special player for us.
3. Is the expectation of using the no-huddle an effort to boost scoring that was 11th in the Big XII?
We are going to a no-huddle spread offense in order to get more plays in each game, and take advantage of our strengths on offense. Our offensive line was a weakness last season, and we've revamped our line this season.While the hope is that we'll be better, the definite strength of our offense is at the wide receiver and running back positions, so the move to a spread offense is an attempt to get thos eplaymakers out in space and take advantage of their talents. You want to score as many points as possible, but the move to the spread has more to do with our personnel than it does with a need to score more often.
4.Is the defense formerly know as the Wrecking Crew any closer to getting its name back this season?
I think we're still a year away, at a minimum, from seeing the return of the Wrecking Crew. We're very young on defense (two true sophomores will start on the interior DL, and our starting LBs will be a redshirt sophomore, a redshirt freshman, and a true sophomore), and I expect some mistakes as our freshmen and sophomores get over the learning curve.The Wrecking Crew was a name synonymous with defensive dominance, and I don't think we'll be a completely dominant unit this season. I think we'll be somewhere between average to good, but we're not at thepoint of dominance that signals the return of the Crew yet.
5. Is MIke Sherman really on the hot seat after one season?
NO, and I mean that emphatically. The people who think Sherman is on the hot seat have no understanding of college football, or they are just functionally illiterate. Sherman has a guaranteed, seven-year contract that he is only entering the season season of, and the people who have been listing him on the hot seat either have forgotten about that, or they didn't read about his contract when he was hired. We Aggies may be patient to a fault when it comes to our coaches, but I do know that Mike Sherman will be given ample time to get this program turned around and build it into a winner again.
Final score prediction: Texas A&M 38 New Mexico 16
So, there you have it five questions from I am the 12th Man gp check their site for more info on the New Mexico game.