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Texas A&M Football

SEC Round-Up: Numerous Aggies deserving of all-conference honors

December 17, 2020

Maybe it was just December amnesia.

In year’s past — right around the time all-conference football teams were announced — it seemed the Southeastern Conference media and coaches forgot the league extended west of the Sabine River.

Too many deserving Texas A&M players were ignored.

Kingsley Keke, Erik McCoy, Sean Porter, Jermaine Eluemunor and Jarvis Harrison never received any all-conference acclaim. Bonafide stars like Ryan Swope, Justin Evans and Josh Reynolds were relegated to second-team status.

Craig Bisacre
Spiller has run for 897 yards, which ranks third in the SEC behind South Carolina’s Kevin Harris and Alabama’s Najee Harris, who have played more games.

That should change this season.

A&M players typically don’t get the benefit of the doubt from the SEC old guard. These Aggies should be too good for them to ignore this season.

The Aggies are closing in on an 8-1 finish and are ranked No. 5 in the nation. Coach Jimbo Fisher is awesome, but that doesn’t happen without star players.

Don’t expect the SEC media or coaches to recognize them all, but looking at it objectively, there are six Aggies worthy of All-SEC first-team status.

Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller may have led the SEC in rushing had the Aggies been able to play a full 10-game schedule. As it is, he figures to lead the league in rushing yards per game.

Sophomore guard Kenyon Green has proven on a weekly basis that he’s one of the conference’s best interior linemen, along with Tennessee’s Trey Smith. SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic (a former offensive lineman himself) rated Green a potential All-American.

Sophomore defensive end DeMarvin Leal is a force. He’s posted 25 tackles, five for loss and 1.5 sacks. But he has also been credited with eight quarterback pressures. Leal has broken up three passes, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.

Junior defensive tackle Bobby Brown has 4.5 sacks — an excellent total for an interior lineman. Brown is also an effective run-stuffer. He’s a major factor in A&M ranking second in the SEC and ninth in the nation in run defense.

Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson has had a spectacular season and probably deserves All-American consideration. He leads the Aggies with 74 tackles, six of which have resulted in lost yardage. He has 3.0 sacks, passes broken up, two forced fumbles that led to scores and also returned an interception for a touchdown.

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Myles Jones has been one of the top corners in the league.

Senior cornerback Myles Jones’ statistics don’t pop out, but that’s probably because opponents realized it’s not productive to throw in his direction. Jones has broken up five passes, had an end-zone interception against Mississippi State and has made 39 tackles.

Several other players should be honored, too.

Ainias Smith, Jalen Wydermyer, Kellen Mond and even the entire remaining offensive line should be considered second- or third-team honors.

That is unless there is another case of December amnesia.

Around the SEC

This week’s games: No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee; Ole Miss at LSU; Missouri at Mississippi State; No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 7 Florida

Who’s hot: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey is on a roll. His plan to play the 2020 season unfolded almost perfectly. Barring any surprises this week, 10 of the 14 SEC teams will have played all of their 10 scheduled games. Then, last week, the SEC reached a 10-year TV deal with ABC, reportedly worth $3 billion. That deal begins in 2024.

Who’s not: TV cameras recently caught Florida coach Dan Mullen berating defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on the sideline. That was even before Grantham’s defense allowed 37 points in an upset loss to LSU last week. No relief is in sight. Grantham next faces Alabama’s explosive offense.

Keep an eye on: A canceled game against Ole Miss likely will prevent Texas A&M’s running back Isaiah Spiller from posting the SEC’s highest rushing total. However, he could be the SEC’s leader in average yards per game. Spiller is ranked second with an average of 112.1 yards per game. That’s one-yard less than South Carolina’s Kevin Harris’ conference-leading average. Spiller has rushed for at least 120 yards in each of the last three games. Expect another big game from Spiller against Tennessee, which has struggled to stop the run.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
Pelini’s unit is in danger of being torched again.

The pressure is on: Lost in LSU’s euphoria of last week’s 37-34 upset of Florida is the fact the Tigers surrendered 474 passing yards. LSU, which is ranked dead last in the SEC in pass defense, has given up at least 300 passing yards in four of its last five games. Their next task? Containing Lane Kiffin’s explosive Ole Miss offense, which averages 356.5 passing yards. Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore has more than 600 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the last three games. Another big game seems in store for him.

Best matchup: Florida’s passing offense has generated more than 300 yards in nine of 10 games. The Gators average 386.4 passing yards to lead the SEC. They face Alabama, which allows just 227.1 yards to rank second in the SEC in pass defense. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown 40 touchdown passes. Alabama’s defense has given up just 11 touchdown passes — the fewest in the SEC.

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SEC Round-Up: Numerous Aggies deserving of all-conference honors

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