Question for Clay, Jimmy, or Matt

We have a problem on the offensive line trying to handle the Texas A+M defensive ends. At Ole Miss last year, we had a great game plan running the football and then having Brandon Allen roll away from Robert Nkemdiche. A+M has two stellar defensive ends…where do we roll? Our pass protection this year has been shoddy on the drop back passes. I see us having a tough time throwing the ball if our running game is not working well.

Do we line up and try to run the ball down their throats? With only 1 stud running back, can we do that? It will be interesting to see how we attack the A+M defense. Our tackles are big ole boys. Can we run right at the A+M defense?

We really need to run the ball well enough to allow us to play action and throw the ball, in my view. What do you guys think?

Not Clay, but I think we definitely try to establish the running game. And, I’d think the plan would be to run right at those two ends. That neutralizes their lateral pursuit (and makes others chase the ball) while also giving them something to think about when rushing the passer. If they are executing some exotic pass-rushing technique, they may miss a ball-carrier running right by them.

My thoughts are a little simplistic, and I’m sure the coaches have a much more intricate plan in mind. Clay will doubtless bring a better response to your question, but those are my thoughts.

We basically went to a max protection the 2nd half of the TCU game. That gave AA more time and we ran the ball effectively out of it. I think we’ll see some things “evolve” out of that.

We ran the ball at these same two ends last year. John Chavis does the same thing with his ends at A&M that he did at Tennessee and at LSU. They charge up the field. They are good, but they can’t do everything if they charge up the field. You use that aggressiveness to your advantage. The soft spot in the A&M defense is just inside those ends. You have to block the tackles and the inside linebackers and that’s where A&M is a little better.

Bootlegs are tough for the ends. You can do it two ways. You can block them or let them try to take themselves out of the play when they follow the running back fake. I don’t think you can do the same thing all the time. You vary it. But I think there are plays open against A&M. You have to be smart in how you do it.

I trust Dan Enos to have a good plan. He’s had good plans against other teams with good ends. They play against good ends in practice. Deatrich Wise is in the same category as Myles Garrett. Some like Wise better because of better play against the run.

This is not like the old days when you only saw a good set of defensive linemen once a year against Texas. You see them every week in the SEC. Missouri had good ends. So did Mississippi State. So did LSU. So did Alabama. So did TCU two weeks ago.