Kansas State has been a solid team that not many people have talked about all year, while Texas A&M fizzled down the stretch, as the two teams meet in the 2016 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies were hot for the first two months of the season, but lost four of their last six games to finish at 8-4. They have good wins over Tennessee, UTSA, Auburn, Arkansas and South Carolina. Their loss to Ole Miss was the only one to a bowl ineligible team.
Trevor Knight was doing a solid job as quarterback for the Aggies, before getting injured and missing the rest of the season. Jake Hubenak took over and actually had a better completion percentage at 59%. That still isn’t great, but he is growing as a quarterback in his first career starts. He also had six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Texas A&M has a lot of good receivers that can make plays once the ball is in their hands. Josh Reynolds, Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones and Speedy Noil all have produced for the Aggies. They might have the deepest receiving core in the country. The production isn’t always there for these guys, but the talent is. Reynolds and Kirk have had the best seasons with over 800 receiving yards on the season.
Freshman running back Trayveon Williams has been a great find for Texas A&M. He eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark with 1,024 rushing yards and added eight rushing touchdowns. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield has also helped the offense move the ball. Keith Ford is more of the power back and gets carries when Williams comes out. He has 583 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
The rush defense for the Aggies has been extremely average, allowing 190 yards per game. For Texas A&M pass defense is the issue as they give up 284 yards per game.
Myles Garrett has been a force to be reckoned with ever since he came on campus. He will likely be the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Armani Watts has also helped out a lot with pass defense, but may not play with a knee injury.
Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats were a quiet 8-4 team that no one seems to notice. They only lost to teams they should have and all of them are in bowl games. Their two wins over bowl eligible teams came over Baylor and TCU.
Jesse Ertz has done it all for the Wildcats at the quarterback position. He has only thrown for 1,560 yards and eight touchdowns, but adds the capability to move the ball with his legs. As the team’s leading rusher, Ertz has run through tacklers for 945 yards and ten touchdowns.
Byron Pringle has made the most of Ertz’s few passing yards. He only has three touchdowns, but does have 524 receiving yards.
Kansas State doesn’t play around once they get to the goal line. They hand it off to their fullback, Winston Dimel, who ran it into the end zone for 12 touchdowns this season. They use a plethora of backs to move the ball other than Dimel. Alex Barnes is a threat for big plays at 7.9 yards per carry.
The Wildcats have a great rush defense that allows just 113 yards on the ground per game. They get torched in the passing game though and give up 270 yards per game.
Defensive lineman Jordan Willis has terrorized opposing offensive lines with 11.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He needs to get to the quarterback fast to stop the Aggies from being able to pass the ball effectively.
Texas A&M has too much talent to lose this game. They have NFL level talent on a lot of different levels of their offense and defense. Garrett will have a great last game as an Aggie and show his ability to stop the run as well as rush the passer.
Texas A&M Aggies 31 Kansas State 22