Any team that faced rushing attacks as powerful as Alabama's and Arkansas's in its first five games wasn't going to look good on the stats sheet. But there's "not looking good," and then there's giving up 6.07 yards per carry for the season -- the fifth-worst mark in the entire FBS.
That's the current situation for Texas A&M 's rushing defense, and that's why Kevin Sumlin's announcement Tuesday that starting defensive tackle Kirby Ennis would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL is a major, major blow for the Aggies. Sumlin said Ennis' spot in the starting lineup would be filled by Isaiah Golden, a true freshman.
Ennis suffered the injury in the Aggies' Week 5 victory in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks. A redshirt senior who has played too many games this season to be considered for a medical redshirt, Ennis's Texas A&M career appears to be over, the Express-News's Brent Zwerneman reported.
Per ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr., Aggie defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said Golden would move to the starting nose tackle slot, while fellow starting defensive tackle Alonzo Williams would also see time at the nose while a three-man rotation manned the tackle spot.
There was some good news for the Aggie defense, as Sumlin said junior safety Floyd Raven was "probably probable" for his team's trip this Saturday to take on Ole Miss. Raven's assistance may be needed against the likes of the Rebels' Donte Moncrief, who caught six passes for 122 yards against Auburn last week and caught 6 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown vs. A&M last season.
But with the Aggies off to such a rocky start defending opposing ground games and teams like Auburn (18th in FBS rushing), LSU (43rd) and Missouri (15th) still on the schedule, Ennis' assistance might have been even more needed. And unfortunately for Sumlin and the Aggies, that assistance isn't coming.