Returning Starters – Offense: 8 Defense: 7
Preview: Texas A&M has made a successful transition into the SEC, but the Aggies now have the herculean task to try and get through the stacked West division again this season. Texas A&M could actually finish the season in the top 25, while also finishing 6th or 7th in the SEC West. This gives an idea of the depth this division still has. Head coach Kevin Sumlin has turned this program into a consistent performer going 28-11 through his first 3 seasons as the head man.
The offense has been the clear strength of the team under Sumlin and this unit should rack up the points again this year with 8 returning starters back. The QB job went to Kenny Hill early last season, but the young man tailed off and the job eventually was handed over to Kyle Allen. Going off of last season’s results it looks like Allen will continue to progress into one of the top passers in the conference. The Aggies didn’t live up to their expectations along the O-line in 2014 and the unit looks to improve with 3 returning starters along with respected coach Dave Christiensen coming in to coach up the unit. The run game has to be more of a threat and this group will be led by Tra Carson and Brandon Williams. There’s plenty of talent to go around at the receiver position with Speedy Noil and Josh Reynolds leading the way.
Simply put, if the defense doesn’t get better then Texas A&M will never have a legitimate shot at winning the SEC West. The Aggies have been tough to watch on the defensive side of the ball over the past two seasons, but there’s hope with LSU coordinator John Chavis coming in to coach up the unit. Chavis bring in a scheme that needs pass rushers and he’s got that with Garrett and Hall at the end positions. The LB corps has been a glaring weakness in recent years, but this unit has hope if guys like Alaka and George can live up to their promise. The secondary will also be a work in progress as the unit looks to get more out of Harris and Watts.
Prediction: There’s no reason to think the Aggies will take a step back on offense so if this team can improve defensively under Chavis then A&M has the potential to surprise. The Aggies are stacked with an offensive group that’ll continue to grow throughout the season. Texas A&M will play in a lot of high scoring games and even a top half finish in the SEC West will be a tough task for this group given their brutal conference schedule.
Projected Record: 7-5 (3-5)