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Texas A&M Pass Rush Leading The Way

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Texas A&M ranks second in college football with 23 sacks.

Texas A&M has bounced back after a disappointing week one loss at UCLA, a game where the Aggies blew a 44-10 late third quarter lead. Since that letdown, Texas A&M won four straight before losing 27-19 to top-ranked Alabama last weekend; the Aggies are the only team, outside of Clemson, to play the Crimson Tide within one score since October of 2015. In addition to developing an exciting true freshman quarterback and featuring the most dynamic all-purpose threat in the country, Texas A&M ranks second in college football with 23 sacks.

The Aggies' defensive production is especially-impressive considering they are doing it without former All-American defensive end Myles Garrett, the number one overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Minus Garrett, who just recorded two sacks in his pro debut, the unit already has five different players with at least 2.5 sacks. Texas A&M's current rate of 3.83 sacks per game would finish as the game's fifth-highest margin since 2012. Junior Landis Durham is 7th in the country with 5.5 sacks, adding three forced fumbles.  

A consistent rush has helped the Aggies turn things around. Over their last three games, conference contests against Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama, Texas A&M has 16 total sacks and 28 total tackles for loss. This Saturday in Gainesville, the Aggies' ability to pressure the passer could prove especially-key. Florida has allowed 15 sacks in five games, the second-worst rate in the SEC. 

Defensive coordinator John Chavis, previously at Tennessee and LSU and a former defensive tackle for the Volunteers, has a proven track record of winning in the trenches. 

Even after a loss, Texas A&M enters the middle of the season with some positive traction and momentum. Much of that energy is coming from the defensive front.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports