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2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas, Texas A&M Vs. Northwestern: Can The Wildcats' Defense Stand Up To The Aggies' Offense?

When the Northwestern Wildcats meet the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, they'll do so as double digit underdogs, and Wildcats fans figure to be substantially outnumbered in the stands since the game is in Houston. But it's always hard to guess how a coaching change will affect a team (in this case, the Aggies) heading into a bowl game, and Pat Fitzgerald usually has his team well prepared and competitive in the postseason.

The biggest key for Northwestern could be its defense, which has been porous far too often this season. The Aggies rank seventh in the country in total offense and average over six yards per play from scrimmage. Northwestern, meanwhile, ranks 88th in total defense and is giving up over six yards per snap. Northwestern's offense certainly is no slouch, but without an improved defensive effort, or a few lucky bounces, the Wildcats could have trouble keeping up.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.