2014 SEC Media Days: Texas A&M enters post-Johnny Football era

Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Well there’s no more Johnny Manziel at quarterback, wide receiver Mike Evans isn’t around either, and Falcons fans have gotten to know offensive tackle Jake Matthews a little over the last few months. Outside of these three players moving on from the program, Texas A&M now finds themselves pretty much in the same position they were in 2012.

The difference in 2014 is that now the SEC has a decent idea of what head coach Kevin Sumlin’s program can bring to the field. The Aggies since they’ve joined the conference have been known for their offensive fire power and not as much for their defense. This is something that senior cornerback DeShazier Everett is trying to change.

“We’ve got to play better,” Everett said. “Giving up as many points as we did on defense is pretty embarrassing. We’ve definitely got to come out stronger this year.”

In 2013, the Aggies defense ranked 111th out of 125 teams in all of FBS football. That is way below 50 percent of all major college football defense’s.

However, this is not the only part of the squad that Kevin Sumlin is trying to find a solution for, in order to be successful this season. He know that 2014 is a little of a new blank canvas for his program.

“First year nobody expected anything out of us and last year we were supposed to win every game,” Sumlin said. “As a coach you have your expectations within your program and you set that with your players. You don’t ride the wave and our expectations are not going to change.”

Sumlin will have to decide on a new starting quarterback in 2014, much like he had to when he hit College Station in 2012. The word is, that he’ll choose between prized freshman Kyle Allen and sophomore Kenny Hill for the signal calling duties. He would not tip his hand on Tuesday who would be the man for the job.

One position Kevin Sumlin doesn’t have to worry about for the Aggies is at left tackle. This is because senior tackle Cedric Ogbuehi is moving over to that position from the right side of the line. He is taking over for Falcons first round pick and right tackle Jake Matthews. With the expectations being placed on him for taking over for the recently departed left tackle and second consecutive first round draft selection at that spot, Ogbuehi knows that much is expected of him.

“It’s a big deal but every game I’ve got to play still,” Ogbuehi said. “I’ve got to show out and it’s not earned. I’ve got to work for it.”

Ogbuehi says that Matthews has been back on campus working with him on his technique at the left tackle spot, when he has not been in Atlanta with the Falcons.

The good news for Texas A&M this season is that pretty much the entire offensive line except for Jake Matthews are returning for this season. Plus after the South Carolina opener in Columbia, they really don’t face a huge challenge until week six of their season on the road against Mississippi State.

The bad news for this team is that questions still remain at quarterback, wide receiver, and on their defense.

This season could serve as another surprise to the SEC if, a playmaker like Johnny Manziel can step up to help propel this team in the right direction. However, that is easier said than done. So, that is a huge if for the Aggies.


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