Trey Williams

Kevin Sumlin discusses moving Brandon Williams from RB to CB

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Texas A&M doesn’t need help at running back. Not with Tra Carson and Trey Williams James White returning and freshman phenom Kyler Murray likely to help carry the load in the running game.

The Aggies do need help defending the pass. Texas A&M ranked 66th or lower nationally in pass efficiency defense, yards per attempt allowed and passing defense in 2014. And with leading tacklers Howard Matthews and Deshazor Everett graduating, it’s an all-hands-on-deck type of season in the A&M defensive backfield.

So with that in mind, Texas A&M has moved running back Brandon Williams to cornerback.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin discussed the change with Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle: “He can always come back and play running back, we know that. Let’s see what he can do, and he’s excited about it. If he can help us (on defense), and it helps him in his career, it will be a great move for both of us.”

Williams ranked third on the team last year with 379 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 87 carries. A native of Brookshire, Texas, Williams originally signed with Oklahoma out of high school.

Nearly 30 percent of early entries weren’t selected in NFL draft

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Not surprisingly, some of the players who left eligibility on the table for an early shot at the pros were left without a chair when the draft music stopped Saturday.

By the deadline in mid-January, a total of 84 players with eligibility remaining filled out their paperwork to make themselves available for the 2015 NFL draft.  As noted by Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, 24 of those 84 players went undrafted as the seven-round event concluded yesterday evening.

While that’s 28.6 percent, it’s actually a better rate than a year ago.  In 2014, 36.7 percent (36 of 98) of the early entrants went undrafted.  That total of 98 last year was a record number of draft-eligible players who left with eligibility remaining, which prompted the NFL to change its protocol in an attempt to roll back the number of players leaving early.

Getting back to this year, 16 of the 24 who weren’t selected came from Power Five football programs.  TCU was the only school with two early entrants who weren’t picked (running back B.J. Catalon, safety Chris Hackett), while two of the players came from non-FCS levels.

It should be noted that most if not all of the players in this group will sign as an undrafted free agent.

Below is the complete list of those who went undrafted.

SS Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
CB Jacoby Glenn, UCF
FS Chris Hackett, TCU
WR DaVaris Daniels, Notre Dame
RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
DE Deion Barnes, Penn State
TE Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
DT David Irving, Iowa State
WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston
DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
RB B.J. Catalon, TCU
WR Chris Harper, California
LB Max Flores, Northern Colorado
RB Dee Hart, Colorado State
RB Braylon Heard, Kentucky
WR George Farmer, USC
WR Nigel King, Kansas
OT Patrick Miller, Auburn
WR Zach D’Orazio, Akron
WR Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
OG Tyler Moore, Florida
WR Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International
LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
OLB Darien Rankin, North Carolina

Texas A&M pulls away from WVU as SEC goes 2-0 in bowls

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The SEC continued to own the upper hand this postseason, while the Big 12 suffered a loss in its bowl debut this season. Texas A&M (8-5) quarterback Kyle Allen threw four touchdowns and rushed for one to help the Aggies pulled away and held off West Virginia (7-6) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee on Monday afternoon. Texas A&M celebrated a 45-37 victory.

The Liberty Bowl had just about everything but defense. It even included one Texas A&M student assistant being left in the locker room for the second half after throwing an elbow and a punch at two different West Virginia players in the first half. The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half, but it was Texas A&M that came out and took control in the second half. The Aggies outscored West Virginia 17-3 in the third quarter to turn what was a one-point lead into a 15-point advantage entering the fourth quarter. Trey Williams had an 18-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to pad the lead for the Aggies and Allen tossed his fourth touchdown of the game into the hands of Malcome Kennedy 22 seconds before the end of the third quarter for a 45-30 lead.

By this point in the game the West Virginia offense had become frustrated and unable to keep the pressure on. The difference in the game may have been the production inside the red zone. West Virginia was forced to settle for a pair of field goals on its two red zone trips in the game. Meanwhile, Texas A&M scored four touchdowns inside the West Virginia 20-yard line.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard showed some good promise in the first half, but he was off the mark in the second half on his way to completing 19 of 42 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin White was the big target for the Mountaineers, leading the way with 129 receiving yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.

The SEC is now 2-0 this bowl season, which got started with South Carolina’s victory over Miami in the Independence Bowl on Saturday. The SEC owns wins against the ACC and Big 12 right out of the gate. Arkansas will take on Texas Monday night in the Texas Bowl.

Texas will hope to pick up the first win for the Big 12 this bowl season, which would even the record after West Virginia took the loss in the first bowl game involving the Big 12.

Chippy AutoZone Liberty Bowl sees Kyle Allen’s 4 TDs give Texas A&M halftime lead

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Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen has thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for one more to help the Aggies hold a 28-27 lead on West Virginia at halftime of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. The two teams have already combined for over 500 yards of offense and things should not be expected to slow down in the second half.

Texas A&M struck first with a 44-yard touchdown pass from  Allen to Josh Reynolds on the second possession of the game for the Aggies. West Virginia seemed to take firm control of the game in the span of about three minutes with a 17-point flurry that included a field goal, a Mario Alford touchdown catch from Skyler Howard and a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by KJ Dillon in the middle of the first quarter. But this game is not one where a team can let up on the gas pedal. West Virginia saw the 17-7 lead last for only a few minutes before A&M answered with a long touchdown pass from Allen to Trey Williams, a 40-yard strike.

Texas A&M regained the lead early in the second quarter with Allen’s third touchdown pass of the half, this time a much more pedestrian 11-yard hook-up with Malcome Kennedy for a 21-20 lead. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the defense gave it right back when West Virginia needed just two plays to jump back in front. Howard completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to Kevin White for a 27-21 lead.

The game has been chippy at times, with Texas A&M players getting their licks on West Virginia’s quarterback. The Aggies have also been penalized six times for 82 yards. There have also been some cheap shots, like this one…

It turns out the same coach did this earlier as well…

Texas A&M Howard Matthews was ejected from the game midway through the first quarter of the game after being called for targeting on West Virginia receiver. Matthews was Texas A&M’s leading tackler this season with 82 tackles, so the ejection is without a doubt a significant blow to the Aggies on defense.

LSU defense locks down Aggies for halftime lead

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LSU’s offense has been on the field for over 20 minutes in the first half and has out-gained Texas A&M by over 200 yards. LSU is only winning at the half by a score of 17-7, but if the defense continues playing at this level that might be OK.

Texas A&M recorded the first big play of the half when Trey Williams rushed 41 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Aggies, there has not been much else to speak of on offense. Kyle Allen continues to start under center for Texas A&M. In the first half, Allen completed eight of 11 passes for 23 yards. Seven different Aggies have caught a pass, but no player has more than nine receiving yards. Texas A&M has just 80 yards of offense, compared to LSU’s 286 yards.

LSU tied the Aggies with a powerful 22-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Leonard Fournette in the second quarter. LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings has used his mobility to his advantage as well and leads the Tigers at the half with 94 rushing yards. Jennings also threw a touchdown pass to John Diarse late in the first half to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead. LSU added a 31-yard field goal off the leg of Trent Dominique in the final seconds of the half to pad the lead, 17-7.