One of the best assistant coaches in college football these days is A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. Hired away from Air Force last season, DeRuyter has been busy remaking the Aggies defense into respectable, something it hasn't been in a while.
The Aggies are currently ranked No. 10 in the nation in total defense. Yes, yes, it came against Stephen. F Austin, La. Tech and Fla. International but it's a start.
If the Aggies win the way they want, DeRuyter is going to get a head coaching job in the next few years.
One slight advantage heading into Thursday night's game between the Aggies and No. 24 Okie State (USA Today poll) may be DeRuyter himself.
Last season at Air Force, the Falcons destroyed Houston's PlayStation 3 offense and QB Case Keenum in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, 47-20. The Falcons forced six turnovers that day. The offensive coordinator for the Cougars that day was Dana Holgorsen, who is now the OC at Okie State.
"We got lucky last year; our kids played really well that day," DeRuyter said. "I don't have a coaches' number."
So, was it luck?
"I don't know if it was luck," DeRuyter said. "Our guys played well that day."
OSU leads the nation in total offense, averaging 596 yards per game; it ranks second nationally in scoring with 57 points per game. Like A&M's defensive stats, OSU's offensive numbers have been built on playing wimps such as Washington State, Troy and Tulsa.
If the Aggies win, DeRuyter's attacking schemes will have played a part.
- Mac Engel