Clemson vs. Texas A&M fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Clemson (1-0) vs. Texas A&M (1-0) Game Preview
The ten-year contract Texas A&M gave to Jimbo Fisher was all about stability and the long haul. It’s going to be a process to turn the program into an annual player in the College Football Playoff chase, and it’s not going to all to kick in overnight …
But that all goes out the window if the Aggies stun Clemson.
This is a very good, very promising Texas A&M team coming off a light and breezy tune-up over Northwestern State, and now it’s time to put on the big boys pants. Now it’s time to see exactly where the Aggie program stacks up with the elite of the college football elite.
This might not be Dabo Swinney’s best Clemson team yet – that national title team had a pretty good quarterback and a few nice skill guys – but it’s not all that far off, especially defensively.
He has two quarterbacks good enough to start just about anywhere else – including Texas A&M. He has an all-time great-looking defensive front, and he’s got the speed and weapons in place to be every bit as strong as everyone’s No. 1 team, Alabama.
And at home, Texas A&M has the chance to take that team down. With a trip to Alabama coming up in a few weeks, the Aggies can go from being an interesting story to College Football Playoff favorite with a 4-0 start.
Or, Clemson can show that it’s just another college football week.
The two last played in the 2005 opener, a 25-24 Tiger win, but A&M is 3-1 in the all-time series.
One Reason Why Clemson Will Win
The Texas A&M running game is about to deal with a front four looking to make a national statement.
Furman was able to gain 117 yards on the ground last week – mostly due to one big run – but the Tiger D didn’t exactly extend itself for a full four quarters. It didn’t have to.
Even so, Clemson managed ten tackles for loss and got to the quarterback when it really wanted to. And now? Texas A&M O line, good luck with this.
The Aggies gained 503 yards on the ground against Northwestern State, but it’s going to have to count on Kellen Mond and the passing game to pull this off. The Tiger secondary might be the defense’s biggest weakness, and it’s still among the ACC’s best.
Get ready to see a great defensive line turn the intensity up to 11.
One Reason Why Texas A&M Will Win
Texas A&M has a terrific defensive line, too.
The Aggies might not have the skill talent of the Tigers, and they don’t have as many NFL types across the board, but Jimbo has a salty bunch that should show a big improvement from last year. Yeah, Clemson can get behind the line, but A&M – despite its flaws here and there – will live in the backfield at times this season.
Offensively, how do you deal with a great defensive front? You smack it in the mouth, but for the Aggies, it’ll be simply about getting their backs a little bit of room to move.
Trayveon Williams tore off 240 yards and three scores against Northwestern State, and now he gets to be the featured guy behind a line that has to get physical from the opening snap.
If quarterbacks Kellen Mond and Nick Starkel can hold up under the pressure, and get the ball out of their hands in a hurry, this offense should be able to move the ball a bit, and then hope for the one big explosive play to open everything up.
What’s Going To Happen
The Clemson defensive line is going to own this thing.
It’s not that the Texas A&M offensive line isn’t okay, and it can certainly get physical, but it’s going to lose the war against – arguably – the best unit in all of college football.
The Aggies will have their moments.
The receiving corps will have a decent day, and there will be chances and moments to take over the game. And then the Tiger defensive line will go jump on the quarterback’s head.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Clemson 33, Texas A&M 17
Line: Clemson -12.5, o/u: 54
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4.5
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