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2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies

2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies

2018 Recap

2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies
2018 Schedule

2018 Record: 9-4 (5-3)

2nd in the West

Jimbo Fisher’s first hit out of the park in his first season in College Station, as most figured he would. The Aggies turned in a 9-4 season that was competitive from start to finish and much more successful than it looks on paper due to two losses to the National Champion and the runner up.

2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M took seven overtimes to defeat LSU last year in the highest scoring game in FBS history. (Photo courtesy of ncaa.com).

Texas A&M took the game against Clemson all the way to the end and just missed out on the upset losing 28-26. Two tough road games in consecutive weekends against Mississippi State and Auburn were the only setbacks of the year.

The Aggies ran did well in the rest of their conference games, finishing the regular season with a record breaking thriller against then No.7 LSU, finally winning after seven overtimes. And finally in the bowl game they bulldozed past a lesser NC State team 52-13.

2019 Schedule Breakdown

2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies
2019 Schedule

Ceiling: 9-3 (6-2)

Floor: 6-6 (3-5)

2019 Projected Record: 8-4 (5-3)

Conference Standings: 3rd in the SEC West

  • Week 1 Texas State: W
  • Week 2 @ Clemson: L
  • Week 3 Lamar: W
  • Week 4 Auburn: W
  • Week 5 Arkansas*: W
  • BYE
  • Week 7 Alabama: L
  • Week 8 @ Ole Miss: W
  • Week 9 Mississippi State: W
  • Week 10 UTSA: W
  • BYE
  • Week 12 South Carolina: W
  • Week 13 @ Georgia: L
  • Week 14 @ LSU: L

*denotes neutral site game

The regular season should see Texas A&M flirting with a College Football Playoff birth. Up until the final two weeks that is.

Outside of possible upsets against the No.1 and No.2 teams in the country, Texas A&M’s schedule poses few challenges until the end of the season. The biggest challenge will be Auburn at home in Week 4. Whether Auburn’s true freshman quarterback adjusts well or not, the Aggies should be able to handle the Tigers.

The end of the year has Georgia and LSU in back to back weekends on the road. There’s a small chance they’ll give a potentially playoff-bound Georgia an upset bid, but they very well may be able to knock off LSU.

The Tigers will definitely be wanting revenge after the game and a half they played last year and the Aggies will have their hands full going for what should be a 2nd place finish in the West for the winner.

2019 Outlook

Kellen Mond Leads the Offense
2019 SEC Football Preview: Texas A&M Aggies
Kellen Mond is expected to have a big year in Jimbo Fisher’s offense entering his 3rd season. (Photo courtesy of theeagle.com).

Kellen Mond is back for his third year at Texas A&M and is coming off an impressive 2018 season. His 3,107 yards was good for 6th most in the conference and 3rd most among returning QB’s. With 24 touchdowns last year he’s good for 4th most among returning starters. His 474 rushing yards is second only to Kentucky’s Terry Wilson.

Mond is a serious threat both through the air as well as on the ground. He’ll be a terror for opposing SEC defenses to deal with. Many experts have him pinned as one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the SEC for 2018. Some even expect there’s a chance he doesn’t make it back for his senior year in lieu of the NFL draft.

Junior Quartney Davis will be Mond’s top target. The 6’2″ 200lbs junior is coming off a 585-yard season along with seven touchdowns.

Defense Can Improve, But Will it?

The Aggie defense ranked 8th in the SEC last year in points allowed per game. The pass defense was atrocious, finishing 12th with 253.2 yards/game allowed and ahead of just Ole Miss and Missouri. They also ranked 13th in passing touchdowns allowed. It’s hard to imagine Jimbo Fisher won’t be able to improve on that number this year.

It’ll be up to juniors Myles Jones and Junior Debione Renfro to make improvements this year and make the corner position better for the Aggies. Leon O’Neal Jr. had a promising freshman season and is expected to make a big jump heading into his sophomore season.

Meanwhile, the rush defense can only get worse, but that’s due to the outstanding numbers put up last year. The Aggies allowed the least amount of rushing yards per game last year in the SEC. They also had the 5th most sacks in 2018.

The concerning factor for fans is that the Aggies are losing five of their six sack leaders from 2018. Junior Justin Madubuike will lead the way in front, and will hopefully provide some leadership for a young and new defensive front.

Recap

Unfortunately for Texas A&M they have one of the hardest schedules in the nation this year. They have three definite playoff potential teams on their schedule in Alabama, Georgia and Clemson – two of them on the road. That’s the former National Champ, the runner up, and a Georgia team that just missed out on the playoff last year.

If they can win the games they should win then the floor should only dip as low as 8-4 with plenty of potential for a huge season. The LSU game is winnable as well and could make a 9-3 season possible with a big bowl game forthcoming.

 

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