Southern Methodist's visit to old Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M on Saturday could be a high-scoring affair. The ninth-ranked Aggies and the Mustangs have two of the most productive offenses in the country and struggling defenses. But the Mustangs have had little success recently against Texas A&M, going 0-11-1 in their last 12 meeting, including three straight losses since the SWC ended in 1995.
Mustangs senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who leads the nation with 38 completions per game and is third with 393.5 yards per game of total offense, is growing in a new offense developed by coach June Jones and assistant Hal Mumme. "They're really the godfathers of the (wide-open) offense," Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said at his Tuesday press conference. "I have a lot of respect for both men and how they've altered the history of college football. Everyone has their own twist on things, but the blend of those two guys is a little bit different." Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has the Aggies ranked third nationally with 609.3 yards of total offense and fourth in scoring at 53 points per game.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Texas A&M -28.
ABOUT SOUTHERN METHODIST (1-1): Sophomore Darius Joseph leads the country with 11.5 receptions per game and senior Jeremy Johnson (9.5) is fifth. The Mustangs, who had a bye week after beating then-FCS No. 3 Montana State on Sept. 7, are allowing 419.5 yards and 35.5 points. "I have the worst job in America this week (preparing for Manziel)," defensive coordinator Tom Mason said Monday.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (2-1, 0-1 SEC): Sophomore Mike Evans is second nationally with 172.7 receiving yards after grabbing seven catches for 279 yards against No. 1 Alabama. The Aggies - ranked 112 out of 123 FBS teams in total defense (489 yards allowed) and 115th in run defense (260 yards) - allowed 11 plays of 15-plus yards to Alabama. "We're going to have to defend the whole field - vertically and sideline to sideline - because (the Mustangs) are going to stretch us out to make us play in space," Sumlin said Tuesday.
1. Texas A&M has gained at least 400 yards of total offense in 15 straight games. Only Baylor (29 games) has longer streak among FBS teams.
2. The Aggies haven't lost a nonconference home game to a Texas school since 1954 (Texas Tech).
3. Southern Methodist is 16-0 when scoring first and 0-14 when its opponent scores first in its past 30 games.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 48, Southern Methodist 14