College Station, Texas (CBS DFW)- Year 1 under Jimbo Fisher was successful with the Aggies going 9-4 and winning the Gator Bowl. That record included a close loss in the early part of the season against the eventual national champion Clemson Tigers.
Now, heading into Fisher’s second year, it feels like the expectations might be raised a bit higher. The biggest problem is, the Aggies face a brutal schedule this season and that could limit the amount of improvement in terms of wins and losses that is reflected this season.
“They add Georgia, go to Clemson and they have Alabama and LSU,” said CBS Sports college football host Brent Stover. “The last guy (Kevin Sumlin) got let go because eight and nine wins wasn’t good enough. So, Jimbo goes 9-4 and has people saying, ‘Okay, that was a solid first season.’ Unfortunately, these guys get judged on how much money they are making and they paid Jimbo a pile of money. And they paid him that pile of money to compete for national championships.”
National championships could be on the horizon, but accomplishing that feat this year, as Stover pointed out, seems unlikely. The Aggies have to play on the road against Clemson, Georgia and LSU while hosting Auburn and Alabama. The Georgia and LSU games are back-to-back to end the season too.
Now, that all said, there are plenty of reasons to like what the Aggies have going on heading into the 2019 season. It starts with their quarterback Kellen Mond who showed significant improvement in his first season under Fisher. The hope is for more of the same this season.
Unfortunately, in the SEC, you don’t get mulligans. I’m not saying last year was a mulligan. 9-4 is a good year and they won the Gator Bowl, they drilled N.C. State so I think there is a lot to build on there.”
“Kellen Mond, he has to be better in the passing game. He is a good runner, and a big guy who looks the part and plays the part in the running game,” said Stover. “But, he has to be better in the passing game. He has to complete better than 57-58 percent of his passes.”
Helping Mond do so will be the return of receivers Quartney Davis, Camron Buckley and Jhamon Ausbon along with most of the offensive line from last season. The running back spot sees the departure of Trayveon Williams but Jashaun Corbin and Jacob Kibodi both appear ready to step into the role.
On the defensive side of the ball, there were a few more departures, but a trio of impactful corners in Debione Renfro, Charles Oliver and Myles Jones are all back to make life tough on opposing quarterbacks. With sophomore linebacker Anthony Hines III and senior defensive end Micheal Clemons returning from injury, the unit should be pretty good. But, again, the schedule is one that makes it difficult to see them besting last year’s win total.
“The defense will be solid but again with that schedule, I don’t know that the fan base is going to accept that but I certainly would as a person looking at it from the outside.”
The Aggies open their 2019 schedule with a home game against Texas State on Thursday, August 29th at 7:30 p.m. CT. The rest of the season schedule can be found below.
8/29 (Thursday) vs. Texas State, 7:30 p.m. CT
9/7 @ #1 Clemson, 2:30 p.m. CT
9/14 vs. Lamar, 6:00 p.m. CT
9/21 vs. #16 Auburn, TBD
9/28 vs. Arkansas, TBD
10/12 vs. #2 Alabama, TBD
10/19 @ Ole Miss, TBD
10/26 vs. Mississippi State, TBD
11/2 vs. UT-San Antonio, TBD
11/16 vs. South Carolina, TBD
11/23 @ #3 Georgia, TBD
11/30 @#6 LSU, TBD