This week's Q&A comes courtesy of Brad at The 12th Manchild. The other half of the exchange can be found here.
1. I know A&M loves the bend but don't break defense. What will be ther key to slowing/stopping the Missouri offense?
-- A&M's defense currently lays in traction at the local hospital due to more breaking than bending as of late. For a defense that is supposed to be good against the pass (4-2-5), the Ags have been giving up boatloads of yards through the air this season. If you look closely during each game, you'll see our DB's give the WR's about 15 yds of cushion, then proceed to turn around, pull their pants down their ankles, then bend over and watch the receivers through their legs.
The key to slowing Mizzou? Force turnovers and deny the offense the ball with the Aggie running game. Neither of which are likely to happen.
2. Last year, the Aggies were able to wear down the Mizzou defense with a steady dose of the J-Train. How many touches will he get or will the staff continue trying McGee and Goodson on the zone read?
-- With Fran's fate determined, some have speculated that he will really open up the playbook and let the guys have some fun. I think differently, I think Fran will have the offense running the read zone and throwing sideline passes until the day he dies. One of the most disappointing aspects of the offense this season is the lack of player-centric plays. Besides the dive and Jorvorskie-Pass, there aren't any plays specifically designed for goodson or lane. Every play is totally dependent on the read McGee makes, whether it's correct or not.
3. What exactly did the coaches do to Stephen McGee - the highly coveted pocket passer out of Burnet. How did he become a run only threat?
-- I think Stephen McGee is an interesting (i'm looking at you, Psychology Community) example of how one, after proper conditioning, can UNLEARN a skill. After years of being conditioned to tuck a ball rather than risk an INT, Stephen no longer knows how to make proper reads or hit what I call the "pressure-pass", that last second on-the-money throw that you see all great quarterbacks make. Still, last season, McGee was able to put up respectable passing numbers, throwing 20+ yds down field for many. This season's devolution of the passing game is a mystery to many. Everyone seems to be at fault at one point or another, the line, the QB, the WR's. It's what engineers call a catastrophic system failure.
4. Address where Texas A&M stands mentally enterting the game, especially given the coaching debacle taking place in College Station this week/year.
-- I think the news this past week comes as no surprise. It's been a long time coming and I don't think coach Fran's eventual departure is hurting anyone mentally.That being said, it's hard to say where the guys stand, during the Kansas and Oklahoma games, frustration was obvious on usually stoic and determined faces. It really depends on how the coaches have handled the team this week. The players and leadership council can only do so much when the players know the coaches aren't putting them in a position to win. If Fran doesn't make a major adjustment to the game plan this weekend, I would expect this team to crumble fast in the face of a frustrating 17+ defecit.
5. Aggies say they've seen their team win and they've seen them lose, but they've never seen them quit. But is it safe to say that this team has given up?
Bonus - Your prediction and the score.
-- As I said in the previous question, it all depends on what kind of situations the coaches are putting the team in. Remember, most of these players know they aren't going to play professionally so they'll take advantage of every down they get to play, knowing each one could be their last. No, this team hasn't given up the season. The fan base? yes. Most Aggies are easing the pain with the onset of Basketball season, or preoccupying themselves with attempts at predicting Fran's replacement.
Prediction: Mizzou 49, A&M 17. Mizzou jumps out fast and never looks back.