Texas A&M will make its first-ever trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium when the Aggies take on the Auburn Tigers in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday. Kickoff for the nationally-televised contest is 6:02 p.m. (CT).
- A win by the Aggies would make the Aggies bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.
- Texas A&M and Auburn have played just twice previously, with the Aggies posting a pair of neutral site victories over the Tigers in Dallas, Texas.
- The Aggies won 16-0 in 1911 and 36-16 in the 1986 Cotton Bowl.
- The Aggies' memorable 1986 Cotton Bowl victory over Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson and the Auburn Tigers marked A&M's first Cotton Bowl appearance in 18 seasons. The Aggies' 1985 Southwest Conference Championship was the first of three straight conference titles for A&M.
- It will be just the second trip to the state of Alabama for the Aggies, whose lone previous road trip to Alabama was a 1985 meeting with the Alabama Crimson Tide (L, 23-10) in Birmingham, Ala.
ABOUT THE BCS Standings, Top 25
Texas A&M was ranked No. 20 in the second Bowl Championship Series standings of 2012. The Aggies were one of seven SEC schools in the BCS top 20.
The Aggies were in the top 25 polls for the third straight week. After falling to No. 6 LSU, the Aggies fell two spots to No. 21 in the USA Today head coaches poll and to No. 22 in the Associated Press media poll.
three of a kind
The Aggies are one of just three teams in the NCAA FBS that rank in the top 20 statisticallys in rushing, passing, total and scoring offense (others are Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma State). The Aggies rank No. 9 in scoring offense (43.0 points per game), No. 9 in total offense (524.6 yards per game), No. 19 in rushing (221.3) and No. 17 in passing (303.3).
Texas A&M hit the 300-point plateau after just seven games in 2012 (301 points), which has been done just once previously. Head coach Charley Moran's 1912 Aggies scored 303 points in its first seven games.
Re-Writing the Record Book
The Aggies set school records for total, passing and scoring offense just last year with future NFL draft picks Ryan Tannehill and Cyrus Gray leading the way. The 2012 Aggies are on pace to re-break all three marks by healthy margins.
2011 vs. 2012
Category________________ 2011_______ 2012 Margin
Total Offense__________ *490.2______ 524.6 +34.4 yards/G
Passing Offense________ *291.1______ 303.3 +12.2 yards/G
Scoring Offense_________ *39.1_______ 43.0 +3.9 points/G
* -- School record
Tough on Third Downs
Texas A&M is holding opponents to a 28 percent (34-of-120) conversion rate on 3rd downs this season.
Opp 3rd Down Conversions By Game
Opponent___________ 3rd D__ Pct.
Florida ______________ 3-12____ .250
at SMU _____________ 3-18____ .167
South Carolina State _ 3-16____ .188
Arkansas_____________ 9-22____ .409
at Ole Miss__________ 9-19____ .474
vs. Louisiana Tech ___ 5-17____ .294
LSU_________________ 2-16____ .125
Winning away from home
First-year Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin's teams have won nine straight games away from their home field -- six at the University of Houston and three at Texas A&M. Sumlin's last road loss was at Texas Tech in the Cougars' regular season finale in 2010.
freshman leader manziel
Aggie redshirt freshman QB Johnny Manziel is the NCAA's top freshman in three statistical categories: total offense (379.9 yards/G), points responsible for (20.6 points/G) and passing yards (279.4 yards/G).
Manziel named semifinalist for O'Brien
QB Johnny Manziel was named one of 16 semifinalists for the 2012 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. He was one of only two freshmen on the list.
Moore in rare air
Junior DE Damontre Moore was named SEC defensive lineman of the week for the second time in 2012 after making a team-high 10 tackles, with two tackles for loss, a QB sack, a batted down pass and a QB pressure. He maintained his team lead in tackles, and has 62 tackles for the season which ranks No. 52 nationally. He is the leading DL tackler in the nation.
The last defensive lineman to lead the Aggies in tackles was Sam Adams, who led the way with 78 tackles in his All-America season in 1993. In fact, only two defensive linemen have led the Aggies in tackles in the last 40 years: Adams and two-time All-American Ray Childress.
Seniors within range of milestones
- Senior WR Ryan Swope needs just one TD catch to become the second player with 20 career TD receptions. Only Jeff Fuller, with 34 TD catches from 2008-11, has previously reached the 20 TD catch plateau.
- Senior WR Uzoma Nwachukwu is 43 receiving yards away from becoming the fourth Aggies to hit the 2,000-yard level in career receiving yards.
- The Aggies have scored first in 12 straight game dating back to 2011.
- The Aggies lead the SEC in total offense (524.6 yards/G), rushing offense (221.3 yards/G) and scoring offense (43.0 points/G), and rank No. 2 in passing (303.3 yards/G).
- Redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel generates 379.9.0 yards of total offense per game, which more than 40 teams in the NCAA FBS.
- Johnny Manziel leads the SEC in total offense (379.9 yards/G), points responsible for (20.6 points/G) and touchdown scoring (8.6 points/G).
- Johnny Manziel has run or thrown for 40 20-yard plus plays in 2012 or 5.7 per game.
- The Aggies' freshman WR trio of Mike Evans, Thomas Johnson and Sabian Holmes have produced a first down or TD on 43 of their 67 combined catches (64.2 percent).
- 26 of the Aggies' 32 total catches in third-down situations have produced a first down or touchdown (81.3 percent).
- Freshman Mike Evans leads the way with seven first down or touchdown catches on nine third-down catches, and fellow freshman Thomas Johnson is right behind with five "money plays" on six catches.
- For the season, the Aggies have outscored their opponents by double-digits in all four quarters, but have been especially dominant in the second stanza with a 120-40 scoring advantage.
- The Aggies hit the 300-point plateau in seventh game of the season with 301 points, which had only been done once previously in school history. The 1912 Aggies, coached by Charles B. Moran, scored 303 in their first seven games.
- A&M already has three turnover-free games in 2012 (in seven games). It's the most turnover-free games by the Aggies since 2010 when they had four.
- Texas A&M is completing 62.9 percent of its pass attempts in 2012, which is well ahead of the school record percentage of 61.6 set last season when NFL first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill took the majority of snaps at quarterback.
- 16 Aggies have already made at least one catch in 2012.
- Until senior WR Ryan Swope led the team with 10 catches against LSU, the Aggies had been led in receptions by freshmen in every game.
- Junior DE Damontre Moore averages 1.36 QB sacks per game, which is more than 24 teams in the NCAA FBS.
- Damontre Moore lead the nation in sacks and tackles for loss, and is the nation's top defensive line tackler.
- Damontre Moore is averaging 1.36 QB sacks and 2.43 tackles for loss (TFL) per game, which is on pace for a 16 QBS and 29 TFL season. Von Miller led the nation with 17 sacks and had 21.5 tackles for loss in 2009 on his way to All-America honors.
- Damontre Moore is the nation's leading defensive line tackler with 8.9 per game. In fact, only three defensive linemen rank among the nation's top 100 tacklers.
- The Aggies' top tackler off the bench (no starts) is Floyd Raven Sr. with 11 stops, including 10 solo hits. He's also contributed two tackles for loss, including a sack, and a pass breakup.
- The only defensive back to start in every game is senior Steven Terrell.
- The defensive line has had the same four starters in every game: Damontre Moore and Julien Obioha at DE and Kirby Ennis and Spencer Nealy at DT.
- Senior LBs Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart have also started every game.
- The Aggie defense allows 254.6 passing yards per game, which is near the bottom of the NCAA statistical rankings, but their passing efficiency defense rating is a respectable 115.77 (No. 35 nationally).
- The Aggies have scored TDs via fumble return, interception return and punt return in a single season for the first time since 2001.
- In his last 10 games, junior Damontre Moore has piled up 13.5 QB sacks and 22 tackles for loss (TFL), and has had at least 1.5 TFL in every game.
- The Aggie defense is limiting opponents to 28.3 percent in third-down situations (34 of 120).
- The Aggies have held opponents to 165 rushing yards or less in six of seven games in 2012. Only LSU, with 219 rushing yards last week, has broken the 200-yard plateau.
- The Aggies have six pickoffs after seven games, after making just seven in 13 games in 2011.
- Opponents are completing only 56.2 percent of their passes after connecting on 62.4 percent in 2011.
- Just a season after ranking among the worst net punting teams in the nation, the Aggies rank No. 4 nationally with a 42.8 average. Last year, the Aggies ranked 94th with a 35.0 average.
- In the kicking game, punter Ryan Epperson has one touchback on 25 boots and kicker Taylor Bertolet has registered a touchback on 37-of-55 kickoffs.
- Taylor Bertolet's 37 touchbacks in 2012 have already surpassed the 32 touchbacks produced by All-American Randy Bullock in 2011.
- Taylor Bertolet booted a career-high three field goals against Louisiana Tech, including a career-long 54-yarder. The 54-yard three-pointer was the longest by an Aggie since Terrence Kitchens' 62-yard bomb against Southern Miss in 1999.
- Bertolet had his second FG of 50 yards or more with a 50-yarder against LSU. He became the first Aggie with multiple 50-yard boots in a season since Kitchens in 1999.
- A&M opponents have just six punt returns in 2012 for a total of 11 yards with a long return of five yards, which is the fifth-fewest return yards allowed in the nation.
- Senior Ryan Epperson is averaging 44.0 yards per punt, which would rank No. 14 nationally if he had the requisite 3.6 punts per game to qualify for the NCAA statistics. His older brother, Derek, Epperson, was semifinalist for the 2008 Ray Guy Award and a three-time All-Big 12 pick for the Baylor Bears.
- Last season's NCAA punt return champ Dustin Harris is averaging 14.4 yards per return in 2012, which ranks No. 14 nationally.
- Dustin Harris had a record-setting day in game three with a school record 246 yards on eight punt returns vs. South Carolina State for a gaudy 30.8 average. Among his eight returns was a scintillating 96-yard TD return that was the second-longest in school history (98-yarder by Bob Goode vs. Ellington Field in 1945).
- In a bit of a rarity, starting OT Jake Matthews, son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce, is the Aggies' deep snapper. Entering 2012, he had not snapped in a game since high school.
- True freshman kickoff returner Trey Williams broke off a 76-yard return against LSU, which was the longest by an Aggie since 2010 when Coryell had an 84-yard TD return against Baylor.
"maroon Goons" paving the way
Paving the way for the Aggies' record-setting offense is the biggest offensive front in school history, which features a pair of tackles that have been projected to be NFL first-round draft picks in the future. The starting five, self-titled the "Maroon Goons," of senior Patrick Lewis (C), juniors Luke Joeckel (OT) and Jake Matthews (OT) and sophomores Cedric Ogbuehi (OG) and Jarvis Harrison (OG) weigh in at 1,542 pounds or 308.4 per goon.
Joeckel and Matthews have been projected as first-round picks by several sources, and the pair are on the watch lists for the Outland Award (best interior lineman) and the Rotary Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker). Lewis is on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center).
Here's the Beef
Lineman________________ Ht____ WT___ career starts
LT Luke Joeckel_________ 6-6___ 310___ 33 (33 consecutive)
LG Jarvis Harrison 6-3_ 320 12 (8 consecutive)
C Patrick Lewis________ 6-2___ 312___ 42 (42 consecutive)
RG _______________ Cedric Ogbuehi 6-5_ 295 13 (12 consecutive)
RT Jake Matthews 6-5_ 305 27 (27 consecutive)
- With the Maroon Goons clearing the way, the Aggies have produced three 600-yard total offense games in 2012, including a season-high 716 yards against Arkansas.
- The Aggies are averaging 5.6 yards per carry, which is slightly behind the school record of 5.8 set in 1990.
- The Aggies lead the SEC in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.
evans added to Biletnikoff Watch lIst
Redshirt freshman WR Mike Evans, the Aggies' surprise receiving leader, was added to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The award, named for NFL Hall of Famer Fred Belitnikoff, is given annually to the nation's top wide receiver. Evans joins senior teammates Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu on the list.
Evans leads the Aggies with 42 catches for 625 yards. His 6.0 catches per game and 89.3 yards per game rank No. 3 in the SEC.
Johnny football making mark
Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel ranks among the nation's top 100 statistically in seven offensive categories. He is the top freshman in points responsible for, total offense, scoring, passing efficiency, passing yards and rushing.
Manziel in the NCAA Statistical Rankings
Category____________ NCAA Rk Avg. rank among freshmen
Rushing/G____________ No. 29 100.4 No. 2
Passing Yards/G_______ No. 15 279.4 No. 1
Passing Efficiency_____ No. 34 144.51 rtg. No. 2
Total Offense/G_______ No. 3 379.9 No. 1
Scoring/G_____________ tNo. 41 8.6 pts. No. 6
Points Responsible For/G No. 2 24.0 pts No. 1
All-purpose Yards/G__ No. 100 100.4 No. 9
Nation's Top Dual Threat?
Aggie QB Johnny Manziel has firmly established himself among the nation's most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks. Among players ranked in the top 100 nationally in rushing, Manziel ranks No. 1 in total offense with an average of 379.9 yards per game.
2012 NCAA Total Offense Producers (Among Top 100 Rushers)
Rk. Player, School______________ Total Off/G
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M____ 379.9
2. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois___ 344.9
3. Cody Fajardo, Nevada___________ 336.6
4. Denard Robinson, Michigan______ 309.1
5. Braxton Miller, Ohio State_______ 292.9
Manziel has nose for endzone
Aggie QB Johnny Manziel has a knack for finding the endzone. After seven games, Manziel ranks in a tie for No. 4 nationally in points responsibility with an average of 20.6 points per game.
2012 NCAA Points Responsibility
Rk. Player, School____________ Pts resp for/G
1. Seth Doege, Texas Tech__________ 24.6
2. Nick Florence, Baylor____________ 24.0
3. Geno Smith, West Virginia_______ 23.1
4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M_____ 20.6
Collin Klein, Kansas State________ 20.6
NEW FACES in New places
Texas A&M's depth chart is brimming with first-year players. The two-deep chart features 16 that are new to the team or redshirted last season, including 10 true freshmen.
Closer Look at the Depth Chart
Offense (8): WR Mike Evans, WR Derel Walker, WR Sabian Holmes, WR Thomas Johnson, OL Germain Ifedi, OL Mike Matthews, OL Joseph Cheek, QB Johnny Manziel
Defense (6): DL Julien Obioha, LB Michael Richardson, DB De'Vante Harris, DB Tramain Jacobs, DB Johntel Franklin
Specialists (3): PK Taylor Bertolet, PK Davis Plowman, KOR Trey Williams
Bold Caps denotes 2012 starter
New scheme, same results
Aggie defensive boss Mark Snyder's new 4-3 defensive scheme gets pressure from all over the front seven with a whopping 11 defenders with at least a half-sack, including five defensive linemen, five linebackers and a defensive back.
Similar to last year when they led the nation in sacks, the Aggies are again near the top of the NCAA quarterback sacks chart with 21 in the first seven games (3.0 per game), which is tied for No. 12 in the FBS and No. 2 in the SEC. Last season the Aggies led the nation with 51 sacks (3.9 per game).
Moore on incredible defensive run
Texas A&M junior defensive end Damontre Moore is building on his strong play down the stretch in 2011 with an All-America-type beginning to 2012. In his last 13 games, Moore, in his first season at DE after lining up at LB his first two seasons, has compiled an incredible 15.5 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss.
Damonster's Last 13 Games
Opponent_____________ QBS_____ TFL
Missouri________________ 0.0_____ 1.5
at Oklahoma___________ 0.0_____ 2.0
at Kansas State_________ 2.0_____ 3.5
Kansas_________________ 2.0_____ 2.0
Texas__________________ 1.0_____ 1.5
vs. Northwestern _______ 1.0_____ 2.0
Florida_________________ 3.0_____ 3.0
at SMU_________________ 2.0_____ 2.0
South Carolina State____ 1.0_____ 3.0
Arkansas_______________ 0.0_____ 2.5
at Ole Miss_____________ 1.0_____ 2.0
vs. Louisiana Tech______ 1.5_____ 2.5
LSU ___________________ 1.0_____ 2.0
Total_________________ 15.5___ 29.5
2012 NCAA Individual QB Sack Leaders
Rk. Player, School________________ QBS/G
1. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M_____ 1.36
2. Scott Crichton, Oregon State_______ 1.33
3. Will Sutton, Arizona State_________ 1.21
Travis Johnson, San Diego State_____ 1.21
5. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame________ 1.14
2012 NCAA Individual TFL Leaders
Rk. Player, School________________ QBS/G
1. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M_____ 2.43
2. Scott Crichton, Oregon State_______ 2.08
Khalil Mack, Buffalo______________ 2.08
4. Travis Johnson, San Jose State______ 2.07
5. Will Sutton, Arizona State_________ 2.00
NCAA Active Career QB Sacks/G Leaders
Rk. Player, School________________ QBS/G
1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia______________ 1.0
2. Scott Crichton, Oregon State________ 0.8
3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M______ 0.7
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina____ 0.7
5. Nine players_____________________ 0.6
net gain for epperson
Incumbent starter Ryan Epperson, who fought off a strong challenge from sophomore Drew Kaser to win the 2012 punting job, has opened the 2012 season with several eye-opening performances. He is averaging 44.0 on 25 boots..
Eleven of his 18 punts have been downed inside the opponent 20 yard line with only one touchback. Only six of his punts have been returned for 11 yards.
The Aggies' season net punt average stands at 42.8 and ranked No. 4 nationally. Last year, the Aggies were No. 94 nationally with a 35.0 net punt average.
2012 NCAA Team Net Punting Leaders
Rk. School___________________ net Avg.
1. Florida ____________________ 44.3
2. Oklahoma State_____________ 43.5
3. Air Force___________________ 43.1
4. Texas A&M_________________ 42.8
5. Marshall___________________ 42.4
Swope Sets Sights on Receiving Records
- After breaking A&M's single season receptions record in back-to-back seasons, senior wide receiver Ryan Swope is within range of most of the career receiving standard in the Aggies' record book.
- For his career, Swope has 210 catches for 2,584 yards and 19 touchdowns.
- Swope posted a school record with six 100-yard receiving games last season, and has a school record 10 for his career.
- He set another school record with four touchdown receptions against Baylor in 2011. His 206 receiving yards (on 11 catches) against the Bears was the fifth 200-yard game in A&M history.
- Was a running back at Austin Westlake High School, but lined up at WR from day one at Texas A&M.
- Aggies are 8-2 in Swope's 100-yard receiving games, and are 8-5 when he has 8 or more catches.
Player Rec. Years
Jeff Fuller 233 2008-11
Ryan Swope 210 2009-
Terrence Murphy 172 2001-04
Uzoma Nwachukwu 139 2009-
Bethel Johnson 117 1999-02
Career Receiving Yards
Player Yards Years
Jeff Fuller 3,092 2008-11
Terrence Murphy 2,600 2001-04
Ryan Swope 2,584 2009-
Uzoma Nwachukwu 1,957 2009-
Bethel Johnson 1,740 1999-02
Player TDs Years
Jeff Fuller 34 2008-11
Bob Long 19 1966-68
Ryan Swope 19 2009-
Uzoma Nwachukwu 16 2009-
Tony Harrison 14 1990-93
- Christine Michael's first name is pronounced: CHRIS-tin, not Christian or chris-TEEN
- Michael's last two seasons have been cut short due to season-ending injuries. He broke his right leg in game 8 in 2010 (vs. Texas Tech) and tore his left ACL in game 9 in 2011 (vs. Oklahoma).
- Despite missing nine games the past two seasons due to season-ending injuries, Michael is the SEC's second-leading active rusher with 2,570 career yards behind Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina.
- Has nine career 100-yard plus rushing games, including four in nine games last season. Aggies are 7-2 in games when C-Mike rushes for 100-plus yards.
- His 2570 career rushing yards rank No. 11 in school history, and his 3,098 career all-purpose yards rank No. 13.
- Was well on his way to his first 1,000-yard season in 2011 with 899 yards in nine games, including a monster 32-carry, 230-yard, three-TD effort against Arkansas.
Aggies in the NFL
Texas A&M had 18 former players on NFL Opening Day active rosters.
Aggies on NFL Opening Day active rosters
#85 Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants
#71 Michael Bennett, DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#95 Rocky Bernard, DL, New York Giants
#79 Red Bryant, DL, Seattle Seahawks
#96 Ron Edwards, DL, Carolina Panthers
#25 Mike Goodson, RB, Oakland Raiders
#42 Cyrus Gray, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
#63 Geoff Hangartner, OL, Carolina Panthers
#96 Kellen Heard, DL, St. Louis Rams
#41 Jorvorskie Lane, FB, Miami Dolphins
#9 Shane Lechler, P, Oakland Raiders
#60 Kevin Matthews, OL, Tennessee Titans
#58 Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
#48 Don Muhlbach, DS, Detroit Lions
#32 Jordan Pugh, DB, Washington Redskins
#17 Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
#74 Cody Wallace, OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#94 *Ty Warren, DL, Denver Broncos
* -- Injured in season-opener, placed on
#79 Ben Bass, DL, Dallas Cowboys
#37 Terrence Frederick, DB, New York Giants
#83 Jeff Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins
#63 Tony Jerod-Eddie, DL, San Francisco 49ers
#80 Jamie McCoy, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
#77 Lucas Patterson, DL, Kansas City Chiefs
#4 Randy Bullock, PK, Houston Texans
NFL Coaching Staffs:
Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders (Head Coach)
Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Tight Ends)
Kyle Caskey, Cincinnati Bengals (Offensive Quality Control)
Jerry Fontenot, Green Bay Packers (Tight Ends)
Johnny Holland, Oakland Raiders (Linebackers)
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans (Head Coach)
Kirk Parrish, Seattle Seahawks (College Scouting Coordinator)
Shawn Slocum, Green Bay Packers (Special Teams Coordinator)
TEam captains, leadership council
- Team captains, selected by player voting, are seniors LB Sean Porter, DB Steven Terrell, OL Patrick Lewis and WR Ryan Swope.
- Leadership Council, also selected by player vote, is comprised of SENIORS: LB Sean Porter, TE Michael Lamothe; JUNIORS: OL Jake Matthews, OL Luke Joeckel; SOPHOMORES: QB Jameill Showers, RB Brandon Williams; FRESHMEN: QB Johnny Manziel, WR Mike Evans.