September 9, 2009

Miller leads in first game as jack

Texas A&M created the jack position prior to spring drills and the hybrid defensive end/linebacker position has been a talking point ever since, so it's strange to imagine that the position debuted with the Aggie defense this past Saturday in A&M's 41-6 win over New Mexico. But it did, and in that debut both Von Miller and Matt Featherston proved that the change was a necessary one for the Aggies.

A&M limited New Mexico to 231 yards overall and just 21 rushing yards with the jacks making the most of their opportunities. After an offseason of an insane amount of hype surrounding Miller, who had 5.5 career sacks in his first two seasons at A&M, the junior lived up to the praise with three sacks and five overall tackles.

And Miller did it all after getting sick at the beginning of the game.

"Coach Kennedy told us to have a lot fluids and electrolytes and I guess I just took too much. I overdid it and I just had a little throwing up. I got an IV in and I was good to go," Miller said. "I was really nervous. There's been a lot of stuff said. I didn't want to listen to it, but I didn't want to let nobody down. I just wanted to play and play good."

It would be easy to dismiss Miller's exploits against New Mexico with the Lobos proving to be little challenge to the Aggies, but the man assigned to block Miller is no slouch. Sophomore left tackle Byron Bell stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 330 pounds and is thought of to be a high-caliber pro prospect.

After being moved over to the left side from the right where he allowed just three sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2008, Bell was indoctrinated into the new position by facing Miller. The results weren't the best for Bell, but proved that Miller might just be on the path to the huge season many have been predicting throughout the offseason.

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