Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/22/13
It’s no surprise that Texas A&M rolled over Southern Methodist University Saturday with a 42-13 win at Kyle Field. The offence wasn’t perfect, but the main thing that stood out is that Texas A&M’s defense was an improved one. At halftime The Aggies were at a 32-6 lead, so quarterback Johnny Manziel took a seat at the bench. By the end of the third they were at 42-6 with backup quarterback Matt Joeckel in the game. The offence wasn’t pretty at points, but the scoreboard shows that they can run the game. TAMU missed three straight PATs in the second and had 13 penalties that set them back 114 yards, and SMU had 16 penalties that hit them for 111 yards. Thomas B. Shea/ Getty Images After allowing 568 yards to Alabama last week, Texas A&M held SMU to only average 5.14 yards per play. Their defense struggled throughout their first three games due to some game suspensions, but defensive coordinator Mark Snyder made some changes this week that seemed worth it. Snyder said, “We’ve still got some areas we’ve got to work on, but a much better game from our side of the ball, we’re still a work in progress, for sure, but as long as I keep seeing improvement each week I think we’ll be fine.” This was a breath of fresh air for Aggies everywhere. Finally this team that has so much potential has a defense that won’t get trampled on. Head coach Kevin Sumlin believes his team learned valuable lessons in their game against Alabama last week and that their defense could gain some confidence in their game against SMU. The defense had SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert under pressure for most of the game. The Aggie defense held Gilbert at 310 yards at 62 attempts. The pressure also helped The Aggies force three turnovers, which seems like a completely different defense then the one we’ve seen previously. I’ve been harping since the first game about how the defense needed to improve. They finally proved it this game, and I for one am pleased. If they can hold their own in conference play then Texas A&M will be a force to be reckoned with.  The only negative thing I have to say is that the defense needs to work hard to protect Johnny Manziel. While they’re a team and not just a player, the offence was lackluster without him. Joeckel was 4 of 9 for 63 yards, and Kenny Hill was 1 of 5 for nine yards. If Manziel gets hurt the season may be over for them. The Aggies seem ready to take on Arkansas on the road next week. This will be their first of two straight road games. Maybe it’s best that the team gets out of College Station and gets their heads focused on the game.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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