October 16, 2006

Welcoming back an old friend

It's not the 3-4 set that was so common for so many seasons at Texas A&M. And it's not a unit ranked in the nation's top 20, but the Aggie defense roaming Kyle Field these days is started to become awfully familiar.

The Wrecking Crew might not be exactly what Aggie fans remember of the days when Dat Nguyen, Aaron Glenn and Quentin Coryatt stalked opponents - and in Coryatt's case dished out broken jaws and collarbones.

But this 4-2-5, or 3-3-5 as we saw at times Saturday in A&M's 25-19 win over Missouri, has shown the last two weeks that they can win ball games.

And the credit needs to go to the architect of the unit, new defensive coordinator Gary Darnell.

Hailed as a not-so-bright hire, to say it nicely, by many that follow the maroon and white, Darnell has risen the level of an Aggie defense that finished 109th in the nation in 2005 in total defense to one that is respectable and holding opponents to just 16.6 points per game in 2006.

Saturday didn't start as if it would be a day where the A&M defense would take center stage. After just two plays to open the game it looked like Missouri had a sure touchdown until A&M redshirt freshman cornerback Jordan Peterson chased down Missouri receiver William Franklin and caused a fumble that resulted in an A&M touchback.

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