Leading up to the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, TheCrunchZone.com is going to attempt to break down each phase of the game as best we can with the added time available. In the 1st edition let’s take a look at what we can expect with Texas A&M passes the ball. How have the Aggies fared against other passing defenses through the air AND how well has Louisville defended the pass over the course of the year? We will take a look at each FBS game, their opponent’s average, how far the deviation was in each game and the % Gained of their opponent’s average. From there we should get a feel for how Texas A&M fared while passing and how UofL defended it.
Texas A&M Passing Performance
|Passing Defense||Texas A&M Gained vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg|
|Miss St- W||216.8||322||105.2||148.52%|
Texas A&M comes into the Music City Bowl at the #40 Passing Team in the country at 251.3 yards per game. Kevin Sumlin is well-known for producing high quality passing teams: 2014 12th, 2013 7th, 2012 14th, 2011 1st (at Houston), 2010 5th, 2009 1st, 2008 2nd. So the man knows the passing game.
2015 was Sumlin’s worst performing passing team in recent memory but still managed to finish in the upper-third of the country. Texas A&M began with two of the worst passing Defenses in the country in Arizona State and Ball State and didn’t take advantage gaining just 80% of what those two teams would eventually allow on the season. Arkansas made A&M one dimensional forcing the Aggies into the air as did Alabama & Ole Miss.
Auburn & LSU really limited A&M’s passing game and teams really learned how to defend a Sumlin’s limited passing offense late in the year. On the whole Texas A&M earned about 10.3 more yards per game than the opponents allowed through the air or 107.86%. Based on Louisville’s passing D of 204.7 yards per game we can expect that A&M is going to throw for a range of 215-221 yards on December 30th.
Louisville Pass Defense Performance
|Passing Offense||Louisville Allowed vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg|
Louisville will go to Nashville with the #40 Passing Defense in the country allowing 204.7 yards per game. The Cards limited 6 of its first 7 opponents to under their season average through the air, but only 1 of its final 4. The two largest deviations of the season were to Clemson when UofL held the Tigers to 89.5 fewer yards than their season average through the air, and Florida State when the Cards allowed 133 MORE yards than the Noles gained on average throughout the season.
The final result for the Cards was that teams averaged 1.936 more yards per game than they averaged or 100.65% of their average. A&M comes into the game throwing for 251.3 which provides us with a stat range of 252-253.
Texas A&M Passing Offense vs. Louisville Passing Defense is a major battle ground to win the Music City Bowl. We have a stat range of 215-253 yards potential based on a season worth of stats, but in the end player’s play football.
Sophomore QB Kyle Allen (6-3, 210) put together a nice season, but not great by Sumlin standards. Allen missed the South Carolina & Auburn games with a sprained AC joint suffered during the Alabama game. Allen played in the Ole Miss thumping but did yield to freshman Kyler Murray (5-11, 188). Knowing that might make folks discount the Texas A&M stretch and focus on the other 8 games, which is fine.
A&M’s main 3 weapons in the passing game are Christian Kirk (5’11, 200, Fr.) who hauled in 70 catches for 925 yards and 6 TDs, Josh Reynolds (6’4, 195, Jr.) with 40 catches, 730 yards and 5 TDs and Ricky Seals-Jones (6’5, 240, Soph) who had 42 catches, 542 yards and 3 TDs.
Louisville’s Passing Defense will work hard to get pressure on Kyle Allen as Texas A&M is 99th in Sacks Allowed. Not allowing Allen to set his feet while throwing will be a big key in helping Shaq Wiggins, Trumaine Washington, Chucky Williams, Josh Harvey-Clemons, and Jermaine Reve contain this A&M passing attack.
The Cards need to attempt to make A&M one dimensional and this might be the toughest area to cover defensively for the Cards.