There’s one team that quietly moved up the rankings and although it’s still early, now finds itself on the doorstep of possibly earning a College Football Playoff spot.
No. 6 Texas A&M isn’t quiet anymore, they are making noise in both the SEC and on the national scene.
The Aggies made a statement over the weekend, beating No. 9 Tennessee in the 45-38 double-overtime thriller to raise their record to 6-0 overall (4-0 in SEC). Texas A&M did let a comfortable lead slip away, which the Volunteers took advantage of, scoring a couple of touchdowns late to force overtime. After exchanging field goals in the first overtime, Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight sent the fans in College Station home happy, completing a 24-yard pitch-and-catch to Christian Kirk down to the Tennessee 1-yard line before taking it in himself on the next play for the game-winner.
Knight, the transfer from Oklahoma, is adapting nicely from the Big 12 to the SEC. The win over Tennessee was the second time this season the Aggies quarterback had over 200 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing in the same game.
But one major surprise this season on offense for Texas A&M has been the emergence of running back Trayveon Williams. The freshman rushed for 217 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Vols. Against in Auburn in Week 3, Williams weaved through the Tigers defense for an 89-yard touchdown to ice the win. A week later against No. 24 Arkansas, he ran for 153 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is paced by Arlington native Myles Garrett, who had three tackles, including a sack against the Vols, raising his season sack total to four. Forney’s Armani Watts had the game-saving interception in the win last Saturday to make his case for an All-SEC team selection at the end of the season. Granted, there are concerns about the Aggie defense, but they have been able to make the big play or stop when needed late.
The true test comes on Oct. 22 when Texas A&M travels to Tuscaloosa to face No. 1 Alabama. That game could be the battle for supremacy in the SEC West division if the Crimson Tide can get past Tennessee this Saturday. The Vols and Florida Gators are currently tied for the top spot in the SEC East division with 2-1 conference records. Tennessee has the tie-breaker after their win over the Gators last month.
Going into the season, you heard a little “chatter” that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin could be on the hot seat unless the Aggies take the next step and start contending in the SEC. So far, so good. If things continue to go the Aggies way, the little “chatter” you hear could be Sumlin’s name mentioned in as a Coach of the Year candidate.
* Texas A&M has a bye week this week before playing Alabama on the road. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 22nd in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
* Knight is 6-0 against SEC teams as a starting quarterback (2-0 at Oklahoma, 4-0 at Texas A&M). One of those wins with the Sooners was against Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl.
Written by C. James