Preview: Texas A&M vs. UMass

Texas A&M UMass

The Texas A&M Aggies return to Kyle Field after losing on the road to the Auburn Tigers. The Aggies’ next opponent is the University of Massachusetts, which holds a 1-9 record without a win on the road. Texas A&M is currently on a six-game skid and desperately needs a victory before facing LSU at home. The Aggies are expected to win this game by a wide margin, but A&M still needs to focus on improving as a unit towards the end of the season. Here are some thoughts on where the Aggies can make an impact on both sides of the ball and provide fans with hope on Saturday.

Connor Weigman: Let Him Go

You don’t put a saddle on a mustang. Weigman is too talented of a player to be limited on offense. Jimbo Fisher needs to allow his offense to run tempo from the beginning of the game. The Aggies have been consistent and good in the two-minute offense, regardless of who’s under center. Fisher and Darrell Dickey need to recognize their players’ strengths and adjust instead of continually running a vanilla offense.

Surprisingly, A&M is favored by five touchdowns in this matchup against the Minutemen. The Aggies have failed to put up more than 31 points this season, so Saturday could be the first time. Devon Achane is expected to return for this game, and he will have to make some big plays for A&M’s offense to get in a rhythm.

Moose Muhammad III is also back after sitting out the majority of last week’s game due to an internal issue. It’s important that the Aggies’ offense emphasizes targeting young, inexperienced players, especially since they are the future of this program. Since the four freshmen–Denver Harris, Chris Marshall, PJ Williams, and Anthony Lucas–continue to be suspended, Texas A&M’s coaches need to assure other freshmen that they will get playing time in the coming future.

Defense Needs Another Shutout

The Aggies’ defense has had some up-and-down moments throughout the year, but that group has been much more dependable than the offense. Due to some struggles stopping the run, some people have called for the firing of DJ Durkin. If Durkin’s defense were to pitch a shutout against the University of Massachusetts, it’s very likely that those opinions could change within the A&M Program.

Injuries and sickness on the defensive front are probably the biggest reason for the Aggies dropping their last five SEC games. However, that should not be a problem against the Minutemen with all the talent at hand. If A&M can win the line of scrimmage battle on defense, either Massachusetts quarterback Brady Olson or Garrett Dzuro will need to throw the ball to win the game. In that scenario, it’s easy to trust the Aggies’ secondary to force some turnovers and even put points on the board.

Concluding Thoughts

Texas A&M’s game against Massachusetts is focused on how the Aggies can improve on offense. Young stars such as Weigman, Donovan Green, Evan Stewart, Noah Thomas, etc. can continue to build on their performance(s) heading into next season. While a bowl appearance is out of the question for A&M, there still is a lot left to fight for during the remaining two games.   

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