Monday, February 27, 2017

Farewell to 2016: Texas A&M Aggies

The SEC had a down year compared to other years, as Alabama was the lone team to win 10 games or more in 2016. That is an unusual turn of events for the self proclaimed best conference in college football. The East was still down, as Florida and Tennessee continued to struggle despite having high expectations. Georgia is still trying to find themselves under Kirby Smart. LSU made a mess of the Les Miles situation. Ole Miss was clouded over by off-field issues. Here is a look back at the 2016 SEC season, on a team by team basis.

Texas A&M Aggies
8-5 (4-4)

2016 Schedule
Beat UCLA 31-24
Beat Prairie View 67-0
Beat Auburn 29-16
Beat Arkansas 45-24
Beat South Carolina 24-13
Beat Tennessee 45-38
Lost to Alabama 33-14
Beat New Mexico State 52-10
Lost to Mississippi State 35-28
Lost to Ole Miss 29-28
Beat UTSA 23-10
Lost to LSU 54-39
Lost to Kansas State 33-28 (Texas Bowl)

MVP Offense: QB Trevor Knight, RB Trayveon Williams, WR Josh Reynolds
With an Aggie team in a QB crisis after 2015, Knight transferred in from Oklahoma and saved the passing game. He played in 11 games before becoming injured, and passed for 2432 yards and 19 scores, but threw seven picks, and completed just 53% of his passes. Still, he stabilized the position for the time being.
Williams carried just 12 times per game, but he racked up 1057 yards per game, while averaging 6.78 yards per carry. He scored eight times.
Reynolds was the best receiver in a talented receiving corps. He caught 61 passes for 1039 yards and scored 12 times. He averaged 17.03 receptions per game, and 79.9 yards per game.
MVP Defense: DE Myles Garrett, DL Daeshon Hall, DB Justin Evans
Garrett only recorded 33 tackles, but 15 were for loss. Garrett recorded 8.5 sacks as well. Garrett recorded 12 QB hurries as well.
Hall stacked up 50 tackles on the season, and posted 13 for loss. Hall picked up 4.5 sacks on the season as well. He added 12 QB hurries as well.
Evans posted 87 tackles, and recorded 5 TFLs. Evans led the team with 4 INTs, and posted 8 PBUs.
Others of Note
Knight added 10 rushing TDs on the season. 
The Aggies averaged 211 yards rushing per game.
Christian Kirk caught 81 passes on the season to lead the team, and posted 928 yards.
Only four receivers caught 20 passes or more.
Shaan Washington recorded 104 tackles to lead the team.
The Aggies got roasted in the tackle efficiency game. The Aggies were forced to make 77.46 tackles per game, while their opponents recorded 66.15 per game. The Aggies were losers by a +12 margin.
Claude George finished with 11.5 TFLs, while Zaycoven Henderson finished with 10 TFLs.
The Aggies finished with 111 TFLs as a team.
The Aggies allowed just 21 sacks on the season.
Nick Harvey led the team with 10 PBUs.
Opponents forced 57 QB hurries on the Aggie QBs.
Best Win: Auburn 29-16, Tennessee 45-38
The Aggies started 6-0 before the wheels started to fall off at the end of the year. Auburn finished second in the West, and the loss to the Aggies harmed them in the SEC West race. It was one of the best defensive efforts on the season.
Texas A&M also damaged Tennessee in the SEC East race. It was the final win in their opening win streak. It was important because it made the Aggies bowl eligible, and they finished 2-5 the rest of the way.
Worst Loss: Mississippi State 35-28
Mississippi State finished with just 5 wins on the year, and began a run in which the Aggies went just 1-4 starting with this game. This was the beginning of the end of what had been a good run for the Aggies.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 at UCLA, 9/9 Nicholls State, 9/16 UL-Lafayette, 11/11 New Mexico
Nobody knows what kind of team that UCLA will be, or what they Aggies will be like heading into next season. Nicholls State and ULL will be easy wins, and New Mexico may be more challenging than they look. Texas A&M goes either 4-0, or 2-2. It's that close to the margins for them.

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