With Texas A&M's upcoming matchup against a fellow top-25 team approaching, undefeated Louisiana Tech (5-0), GigEmNation took the chance to get some perspective on the No. 23 Bulldogs with Shreveport Times reporter Jimmy Watson, who covers them.
Sam Khan Jr: With Louisiana Tech being undefeated and the Aggies being the only ranked team standing in their way, what's the buzz around the program like leading up to this matchup?
Jimmy Watson: La. Tech fans are excited about being ranked for the first time since the 1999 season and can’t wait for Saturday’s showdown. While the team doesn’t even want to talk about it, the fans are hoping to be BCS busters if they can get past the Aggies.
SK: What has impressed you the most about the Bulldogs to this point in the season?
SK: What are some areas that the Bulldogs still need work in that you think the Aggies might look to exploit?
JW: Tech’s defense has given up a number of big plays in the passing game and are susceptible to crossing patterns deep.
SK: In your opinion, did the change of the date of the game help or hinder the Bulldogs' chances at a win?
JW: I think it seriously hurt their chances. The Aggies certainly have their feet under them and have adjusted to a very good young quarterback.
SK: Louisiana Tech is no. 3 in the country in scoring offense and no. 11 in total offense. What has been the biggest key to that success?
JW: The balance in running and passing. A lot of people think all they do is sling it around all over the place. But against UNLV on Saturday, Tech had about 300 yards passing and about 300 rushing. Similar to Kevin Sumlin’s teams at Houston, Tech expects to run a lot of plays to wear down the defense. They ran 97 against UNLV.
SK: Before the season you mentioned freshman running back Kenneth Dixon as a name to watch that might be unknown and clearly he has played well. Who's another player that may be under the radar for the Bulldogs that could make an impact on Saturday night?
JW: Ray Holley. He’s a senior and was slated to play in the slot before the other super freshman running back, Tevin King, went down with an ACL injury. Holley moved over to running back and has provided a speed alternative to Dixon, who is a power back.
SK: How do you think the Bulldogs will approach defending a quarterback as mobile as Johnny Manziel?
JW: You only hope to contain him. Manziel will get his yards against Tech’s defense, which is giving up 30-something points per game. Saw where there were a lot of Aggie turnovers against Ole Miss. If they have anything close to that number against Tech, winning will be difficult.