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Monday, October 22, 2012
Texas A&M 10: Week 8

By Sam Khan Jr.

Each week this season, GigEmNation will rank Texas A&M's top 10 performers of the season up to this point. After seven games this season, including the recent loss to LSU, here's a glance at who has shined so far:

1. DE Damontre Moore
Moore showed not only his ability, but his toughness on Saturday against LSU. He led the team in tackles again (10), had two tackles for loss, a sack, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. He accomplished all of that even though he left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter, but he returned shortly thereafter to finish the game. Moore has the nation's lead in tackles for loss and sacks currently.

2. LT Luke Joeckel
The junior matched up many times against LSU junior standout defensive end Sam Montgomery, but did an admirable job in those situations. Montgomery finished with two tackles and a half-tackle for loss with no sacks. For the most part, quarterback Johnny Manziel had plenty of time to look downfield for receivers.

3. RT Jake Matthews
Matthews, had the task of meeting junior defensive end Barkevious Mingo. Mingo had one sack, but it was when Mingo was matched up against tight end Michael Lamothe rather than Matthews. Matthews handled Mingo's speed well. Like Joeckel, Matthews performed admirably against the talented LSU front, giving his quarterback time to throw.

4. QB Johnny Manziel
The redshirt freshman moved his team downfield well early in the ballgame, but also had some turnovers that proved costly. He was 29-of-56 passing for 276 yards and threw three interceptions. He ran for 27 yards on 17 carries.

5. WR Mike Evans
Evans caught six passes for 76 yards, though one ball that he didn't haul in resulted in an LSU interception. Still, the redshirt freshman leads the team with 42 receptions for 625 yards and two touchdowns.

6. LB Sean Porter
Porter had seven tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and a sack on Saturday against LSU. For the season, Porter is third on the team with 40 tackles.

7. WR Ryan Swope
Swope's emergence on the field continues. He had a season-high in catches against LSU, hauling in 10 passes for 81 yards. He's second on the team in catches with 30 this season for 380 yards and three touchdowns.

8. RB Ben Malena
Malena has seemingly gotten better by the week. He ran for 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, averaging 6.8 yards a tote, had 21 yards receiving on two catches and also did a good job of picking up blitzes in pass protection.

9. LB Steven Jenkins
Jenkins tied for second on the team with eight tackles on Saturday and for the year is fifth on the squad with 37 tackles and is tied for second on the squad with 3.5 tackles for loss.

10. C Patrick Lewis
The senior has done a solid job this season of dictating tempo, coordinating protections and helping lead the offensive line, which has played well as a unit all season long.