Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By ANTHONY ANDRO  |  Last updated 10/30/13
Texas A&M was in a unique spot last Sunday in its game against Vanderbilt. The Aggies needed some big plays from their much-maligned defense after Vanderbilt turned a 28-0 game into a 28-17 contest thanks to turnovers from the high-octane offense. And the defense delivered. An interception return for a touchdown and seven sacks helped the Aggies pull away in the second half in what turned out to be a 56-24 rout. The seven sacks matched a season total for A&M (6-2), which takes a break from Southeastern Conference play Saturday for a home game against Texas-El Paso. A&M's youthful defense also had seven true freshmen make at least one tackle against Vandy. The question now is whether or not the A&M defense has turned a corner this season. Even though the Aggies allowed a season low 329 yards in the win over the Commodores, they are still ranked 110th nationally in total defense. Still, that's the highest the Aggies have been ranked in the last month. "We played a lot of people really for the first time in a rotation," Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We made some difficult decisions and started some different folks, put some young guys out there to play and they played pretty well. You can't really make a general statement off of one performance but certainly from a confidence standpoint it didn't hurt. I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond the rest of the year." The defense should get another confidence boost against a struggling UTEP team. The Miners are just 1-6 and any intrigue in the game has been blunted because former Texas A&M quarterback Jameill Showers, who backed up Johnny Manziel last year, will not play in the game because of injury. Instead Saturday's game should serve as a chance for A&M to build on the Vanderbilt game as it preps for a final three-game stretch that includes road games at nationally-ranked LSU and Missouri. Sumlin knows that no matter what happens Saturday, his offense has to improve on its five-turnover performance against Vanderbilt. "We came out and started fast like we've done all year," Sumlin said. "We had a letdown in the second quarter, turned the ball over way too many times. I thought our defense kept us out of a bad situation with the five turnovers we had. We played a lot of young players. I thought the young players played pretty well in that game. From a defensive standpoint hopefully there's a lot of things we can gain confidence from moving forward."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Browns source calls Garrett best draft talent in six years

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker