No one—not even Texas A&M fans—will claim the Aggies defense is perfect. They are vastly improved though and showing they’re not just a helpless bunch beyond their pass rush.
Week one saw Texas A&M lay the hammer down on Arizona State with nine total sacks, while limiting ASU just 291 total yards. Week two saw A&M face Ball State, a team just looking to play hard and escape injury-free. Instead of piling on to their gaudy sack total from a week prior, the Aggies recorded only one sack on the day, but kept Ball State out of the end zone for the entire first half.
Texas A&M’s defense got off the field when needed as well, holding Ball State to just 2-13 third down conversions. A&M also forced five first-half three-and-outs and De’Vante Harris’ 40-yard INT TD return.
I’m focusing on the first half because by the time the third quarter rolled around, the game was a forgone conclusion and Sumlin started to rotate some of the more inexperienced players. If you’re a cynic and want to bring up the two gashing runs by Ball State on their first possession, be my guest. That doesn’t take away from Chavis correcting the issue into a dominant, near-shutout.
Texas A&M was dominant no doubt, but did it without their vaunted pass rush. And that’s just fine.