Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M slated for Gator Bowl clash with North Carolina State

December 2, 2018
26,754

Texas A&M was unable to reach the College Football Playoffs or land in a New Year’s Six Bowl, but the Aggies earned a nice consolation prize with a rare trip to Florida.

A&M (8-4) will play in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville against North Carolina State (9-3), who finished third in the Atlantic Division of the ACC race. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.

"We’ve got a great opponent in NC State which we’re very familiar with, Mike (Elko) and I both,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Dave (Doeren, NC State coach) is one of the outstanding coaches in the country. He’s done a heck of a job and built a great program. They’ve got really good players.

“They’re dynamic on offense. (They) can throw it around and run it. Defensively, they’re very physical and tough and have great special teams. We’ll have our hands full.”

The Aggies will enter the Gator Bowl on a three-game winning streak with victories over Ole Miss, 38-24, Alabama-Birmingham, 41-20, and LSU, 74-72, in seven overtimes.

North Carolina State also closed the regular season on a three-game winning streak. The Wolfpack defeated Louisville 52-10, North Carolina 34-28 in overtime, and East Carolina 58-3.

 

Matt Sachs, TexAgs
Trayveon Williams led the SEC in rushing, averaging six yards per carry.

The game matches Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams against a stout North Carolina State defense, which is ranked 13th in the nation against the run. NC State has allowed an average of just 109 rushing yards per game. Williams ranks third in the nation with 1,524 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and has accumulated 700 rushing yards in the last four games.

Louisville freshman quarterback Malik Cunningham is the only individual to rush for 100 yards against NC State. He had exactly 100 rushing yards on 14 carries. The Wolfpack limited Clemson’s Travis Etienne, who has rushed for 1,463 yards, to just 39, though he did score three touchdowns in a 41-7 Clemson victory.

However, the game could be decided by which quarterback best exploits the opponent’s subpar pass defense. The Aggies are 109th in the nation in pass defense. North Carolina State is 120th.

A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has passed for 2,967 yards and 23 touchdowns. His favorite targets are tight end Jace Sternberger and wide receiver Quartney Davis. Sternberger has 47 catches for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Davis has 43 catches for 546 yards and 7 touchdowns.

By comparison, North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley, who is considered to be a legitimate NFL prospect, ranks fifth in the nation in passing. He has thrown for 3,789 yards and 24 touchdowns. Receivers Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers both have more than 80 receptions and over 1,000 receiving yards each.

Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports
Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley is the fifth leading passer in the nation with 3,789 yards on the season.

“Their quarterback one of the best in college football,” Fisher noted. “I’ve said that the last two or three years. He has been a great player in the ACC, the league we were in before. He played great games against us. It’s going to be a great challenge.”

Unlike A&M, the Wolfpack has struggled to mount a consistent running game. Although senior running back Reggie Gallaspy has rushed for 1,012 yards, the Wolfpack averages just 143.6 rushing yards and are ranked 98th in rushing offense.

About one-third of Gallaspy’s yardage has come in the last three games. He rushed for 422 yards against Louisville, North Carolina and East Carolina combined. However, those opponents are weak against the run. Louisville is ranked 127th in run defense, North Carolina is 122nd and East Carolina is 75th.

Texas A&M is ranked second in the nation in run defense. The Aggies have allowed just one opposing player to reach the century mark when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow ran for exactly 100 yards in the seven overtime game.

This will be the Aggies’ third appearance in a Florida Bowl. A&M fell to Tennessee 3-0 in the 1957 Gator Bowl and lost to LSU 19-14 in the 1944 Orange Bowl.

The game will be the first matchup between Texas A&M and North Carolina State.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M slated for Gator Bowl clash with North Carolina State

MosesHall
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Sweet!
"real tomato ketchup, Eddie?....nothing but the best, Clark..."
figlet
How long do you want to ignore this user?
SoTxAg
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Based on those numbers NC State seems similar to Ole Miss.
ABATTBQ87
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
My dad, class of 58, was a senior when A&M played in the 1957 Gator Bowl
Mr. Black
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Good deal! This will be a great trip for our players and we'll get to make an impression in Florida. BTHO NC State!
94chem
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Maybe put the date in there, not just the time.
Thymes
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Olin: What day, date?
coppellag82
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
SoccerAg1128
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
It's says New Year's Eve in the article and 6:30 kickoff....reading is hard I know
ScudAg56
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I believe New Year's Eve falls on Dec 31st this year.
ScudAg56
94chem
How long do you want to ignore this user?
It's like 2 point font on a phone. Just saw it.
Meximan
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Ouch, that Florida bowl history...
Meximan
How long do you want to ignore this user?
ScudAg56 said:

I believe New Year's Eve falls on Dec 31st this year.
Page 1 of 1
 
×
Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.