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Week 9: Five Questions With I Am The 12th Man

Beergut from I Am The 12th Man took the time to answer some questions that we had about Texas A&M team as we get closer the game on Saturday:

1. This A&M team is capable of putting up a lot of points, 5th in the nation in points per game at 35.9, yet there has been 2 games in the past 4 weeks in which this team was held to under 20 points. Was this simply good defense, or lack of preparation, inconsistency with the team, or was it something else?

In the Arkansas game, we started out quick, taking a 10-0 lead, and then a turnover caused our offense to stumble, and Arkansas took advantage. This big problem in the Arkansas game was that our offensive line simply got whipped by their defensive line, especially their defensive ends.
In the Kansas State game, we apparently went out there and thought we would win the game just by showing up. We weren't ready to play the game, period, and the final score reflects that.
2. What are the fans saying about Mike Sherman? He's already matched the win total from last year, which is an improvement.  Is improving on the record and getting to a bowl game this year going to appease the fans, or are they already expecting more?
We had a lot of fans calling for Sherman's head after the loss to Kansas State, but that is all forgotten now that we upset Tech in Lubbock. Funny how everything changes in a week. I think the overall fanbase will be happy with six wins and a bowl berth, at minimum. That is significant improvement from last season, and shows we are moving in the right direction.

3. Jerrod Johnsen has put up more yards, thrown more TDs, and less picks than Colt McCoy, yet the ESPN Experts Poll puts McCoy are 4th in the Heisman, with no mention of Johnsen anywhere. In general, it seems like Johnsen doesn't get much love. Does this bother A&M fans, or are all they concerned about is having the team do well at this point? (It's Johnson, not Jensen, btw.)

I am fully aware of how much more productive Jerrod has been than Colt McCoy, and I am sure many other Aggie fans are, too. However, McCoy's status in the Heisman race is more a product of what he did last season and his team's current ranking than it is a statement on his production this season. Any unbiased fan knows McCoy is not a legitimate Heisman candidate. As for the Aggie fanbase overall, I don't think they're too worried about McCoy. We're more concerned about our own team right now. Living in Texas, you get used to the media bias that favor texas, so you just learn to live with it. 

4. What has to happen for A&M to win this game? What do you think Iowa State needs to do to have a chance in this one?

In order for us to win this game, we need to at least slow down your running game. If our offensive line performs like it did against Texas Tech, we should be able to run the ball well, and that allows us to be balanced offensively. If we can execute offensively, I think we can score enough points to put pressure on your offense to keep up with us. I don't think our defense will be able to stop your offense, but we do need to get enough stops to allow our offense to build a lead, and make you play from behind.

For Iowa State to win, you need to force some turnovers on defense, and control the ball and the clock with your running game. The easiest way to beat us is to keep out offense off the field; if you are able to keep the ball out of our hands by controlling the clock with your running game, you will win the game.
5. Finally, what's the final score of the game, and how many wins do you think A&M will end up at the end of the year?
I'll say A&M 35 - ISU 17. We won't stop your running game, but I think we'll be able to score enough to pressure your offense, and win the game.
I think A&M wins 7-8 games this season. I think we can expect to beat ISU, Colorado on the road, and Baylor at home, which gives us 7 wins. If we can pull an upset, we will hit 8 wins. If we win our bowl game, we can hit 9 wins, but that is getting way ahead of ourselves.
Thanks again to I Am The 12th Man! Looking forward to the game tomorrow, and also check out their site for Clone Chronicles' responses to their questions!