Clemson, SC (CBS Dallas)- A huge opportunity awaits the Texas A&M Aggies this week.
Jimbo Fisher’s squad hits the road to face the number one-ranked team in the country, the defending national champion Clemson Tigers. After opening week matchups against less than formidable opponents, the two teams enter 1-0, with the Aggies looking for revenge following last season’s 29-24 defeat in College Station.
The task of defeating the Tigers won’t be easy, but CBS Sports Network analyst Ross Tucker did see a few signs that he thinks are favorable for the Aggies in Week 1. The main one? Quarterback play.
“Number one, Kellen Mond looked really good in Week 1, so that is a real positive for them. And I didn’t think Trevor Lawrence, for as good as we know he is, I didn’t think he looked that good in Week 1 against Georgia Tech in Clemson’s opener,” said Tucker. “I do think though, in this game, they are going to need him. I don’t think Clemson is going to be able to run over Texas A&M like they ran over Georgia Tech. This is a very different Texas A&M team than what Clemson went against in the Yellow Jackets.”
Mond was good in the team’s opening 41-7 win over Texas State, completing 70 percent of his passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns. With the receiving weapons that he has back on the outside, Mond poses problems for the Clemson defense. Particularly after Mond threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns last season against the Tigers. Throw in the fact that Clemson lost all four starting defensive linemen from a year ago to the draft, and the ingredients are there for a potential upset. However, Tucker thinks the home-field advantage in Death Valley will be too big to overcome.
“To me, Texas A&M has excellent defensive ends, they always do, and I think they are going to have to make Trevor Lawrence beat them. He still has Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross, and I think he will. My guess is Clemson ends up winning this one by double digits. I think this is a 10-point, 14-point game, though some analysts and experts are predicting a Texas A&M upset. However, I think the game being at Clemson is a big factor. I would give Texas A&M a much better chance if the game were at College Station.”
The Aggies and Tigers meet on Saturday with kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m. Central Time.