Come for the line talk, stay for the food
Well, it was certainly not a good performance for Texas A&M in Week 2 against Appalachian State on either side of the ball. The Aggies only managed 180 total yards against the Mountaineers while the defense allowed 181 yards rushing to App State. The Mountaineers dominated every phase of the game and it started up front. Most startling was the time of possession deficit, where Appalachian State held the ball for 41:29 to Texas A&M’s 18:17.
There is blame to be cast everywhere along the offensive side of the ball when a performance is as poor as Texas A&M against Appalachian State but there is no doubt the offensive line has a lot of room for improvement. The Mountaineers didn’t even need to resort to the stunts and twists that Sam Houston State used as App State was able to win one-on-ones on multiple occasions – the most glaring occasion being Jalen McLeod’s successful power rush that lead to a strip sack of Haynes King in the first half. Reuben Fatheree was caught with a high pad level and McLeod made him pay. The sack was one of two on the day for App State and the ‘Neers also had six tackles for loss.
When the Aggies take the field against Miami on the Sept. 17, they will be looking to rebound. Improvement is needed in both the run game and the pass game if the Aggies hope to have a chance at beating the Hurricanes. Southern Miss had success through the air last week against Miami. Texas A&M should look to replicate that using a quicker passing attack that masks the deficiencies of the offensive line. When a group struggles to establish the run or protect the passer the best answer is to simplify the offense and allow the quarterback time to get the ball out before the rush can get to him. From what I have seen on film, Darrell Jackson Jr. and this defensive line group for the Canes are going to be tough to run against, particularly on the interior. If A&M does hope to get anything going in the rushing attack, they will need to get Devon Achane on the edge. The key in this one won’t be any one particular matchup, it will be scheming to help an offensive line that is likely to struggle against a Miami defense that is stronger up front. Will Jimbo adjust? Is Bryce Foster being out of the line-up a bigger problem than we expected? We’ll find out Saturday.
While 17 points isn’t a lot in college football in 2022, it doesn’t give the full scope to the issues Texas A&M had up front. The Aggies did not have a single tackle for loss on Saturday against Appalachian State and managed just one sack. The Appalachian State offensive line’s experience showed and the Mountaineers were able to wear on Texas A&M in the run game. The Aggies have to find a way to get off the field against Miami if they want to keep this one close and not allow the Canes to control the flow of the game. I want to see better block shedding across the front from all the defensive linemen so that opposing backs aren’t able to get to the linebackers without contact like Camrun Peoples was for large chunks of the game against App State. The good news for the Aggies is that this Miami team did give up four sacks against Southern Miss. If Texas A&M can capitalize on a suspect pass protection unit, perhaps they can limit the damage done by Miami’s talented quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, One thing to keep an eye on in this one is tight end Will Mallory. Mallory is a threat as a blocker but is also one of Van Dyke’s favorite targets.
The first food I think of when I picture Miami is the world-renowned Cuban Sandwich. Found throughout South Florida from Tampa to Key West, the sandwich is an icon of the region. Made with ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread it is a relatively simple but delicious dish. Here in Houston, Roegel’s Barbecue puts a Texas Barbecue spin on this dignified delicacy.
The “Bar-B-Cuban” keeps the pickles, ham, swiss and Cuban bread – but trades the roasted pork for delicious smoked pulled pork and trades the classic mustard of the traditional sandwich for their mustard based barbecue sauce. The result is a tangy and smoky mixture that pays homage to the tasty South Florida sandwich while letting the Texas barbecue foundations of Roegel’s shine through – a perfect dish to highlight ahead of the Miami Hurricanes making their way to Kyle Field. Roegel’s runs the “Bar-B-Cuban” as a special so make sure to check their social media if you want to try this sandwich for yourself!