A Tough Trip to Texas A&M
An afternoon battle in College Station, Texas
(AP photo: Sam Craft)
War Eagle, everybody! This week, the Auburn Tigers head to College Station, Texas, to open the SEC season at Texas A&M. The Aggies come into this game at 2–1 and are looking for their first win over top-ten competition against the Auburn Tigers. After the game against Auburn, the Aggies will host Arkansas as SEC action becomes full blown. Texas A&M has played a top-ten opponent already this season and was handled 24–10 at Clemson. For its part, Auburn took down then 11th-ranked Oregon in the season opener, 27–21.
Auburn has been stubborn about running the ball against big blitzes and attacking defenses this season. The team broke through last week in that regard, with 3 different players piling up over 100 yards each. However, I think that success had a lot to do with an out-manned opponent in Kent State. Last time Auburn and Texas A&M met, the Tigers were held to just 19 rushing yards. In order to win the game 28–24, Auburn had to take to the air.
Defensively, Texas A&M is known for toughness up front, and the Aggies do a great job with run fits. Auburn’s tendency to try to run up the middle with 3 and 4 wide receivers on the field will not work well this week. It will be interesting to see how many downs the Tiger brain trust will waste trying this.
Defensively, Auburn has to stop the run and contain mobile quarterback Kellen Mond. Auburn did this well enough last year to stay in the game and should do so again with an arguably stronger defense. The Aggies are short a couple of players on offense, notably running back Jashaun Corbin and tight end Baylor Cupp.
The weather should be hot again for this game. It is expected to be mostly sunny with a high in the mid 90’s around kickoff. We will have our usual Trackemtigers.com Open Thread up and running, and I will be present for the play-by-play. The game will kick off a little after 2:30 PM Central Daylight Time and will be nationally televised on CBS.
A look at other SEC games this weekend, after the jump!
There are still a few cupcakes left in the SEC this week, but SEC action also begins in earnest in mid September. Alabama opens the action at 11:00 AM, hosting Southern Mississippi. I’d expect the Tide to have little trouble in this one.
Also at 11:00 AM Central Time, Tennessee visits Florida. The Vols finally got it going last week against the Chattanooga Mocs, but I suspect that the going will be a lot tougher against Florida in the Swamp.
LSU visits Vanderbilt in the 11:00 AM time slot as well. I expect a blowout as LSU has been just about unstoppable this season, and Vanderbilt looks woeful, thus far.
A 4th meeting in the morning is the California Golden Bears visiting Ole Miss. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is another chance for an SEC team to lose out of conference.
Auburn visits Texas A&M in the CBS game at 2:30 PM Central. I’m excited about this game, but with Auburn’s struggles on offense, I’m also worried about a lopsided matchup against the Aggie defense.
Kentucky visits Mississippi State in the 3:00 PM time slot. The Bulldogs have put up points this season in bushels but have been pretty porous on defense. Kentucky is fresh off blowing a home game against Florida. I have no idea how these teams will match up.
Also at 3:00 PM, South Carolina visits Missouri. I felt like South Carolina acquitted themselves well against Alabama last week and would not be surprised to see that continue this week.
At 6:30 PM, Arkansas hosts San Jose State. The Razorbacks should have little problem with one of the worst FBS teams in the nation.
The SEC nonconference headliner of the week kicks off at 7:00 PM as Georgia hosts Notre Dame. I suspect that we’ve seen this show before. I expect that the Fighting Irish will get thumped again by the SEC.