Texas A&M will take a mid-November break from Southeastern Conference play when it faces Prairie View A&M on Saturday in College Station, Texas.
The No. 16 Aggies (7-3) are looking to bounce back from a 29-19 road loss to Ole Miss that halted a four-game winning streak.
Texas A&M didn’t seem too prepared at the outset, as it was outgained 408-91 in the first half and trailed 15-0.
“We tried, we competed. We didn’t give up in the game,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We got back in the game, had chances to win the game. That’s the thing that’s disappointing. Once we got back to that point, we had chances to win the game and do the things we needed to do and didn’t do it.”
Interestingly, the loss didn’t prevent another round of rumors that Fisher is being targeted by LSU to become that school’s next head coach.
As he did last month, Fisher insists he’ll stay in College Station and not move to Baton Rouge.
“I’ve told everybody I’m staying here, and I’ve told everybody that I plan on being the coach at A&M,” said Fisher, who is completing his fourth season with the Aggies.
“Everybody thinks all coaches lie. I know. Y’all don’t believe us. … I’ve said the other things. I plan on being here. I love the AD. I love the president. I love the chancellor. I love living here. I love being on my ranch. The family loves it here. I love Kyle Field. I love the people here, too. I love all that stuff, and that’s obviously not good enough (to halt the speculation).”
Quarterback Zach Calzada will be one of the Texas A&M players looking to move on from the Ole Miss game after throwing two interceptions for the first time this season. Calzada also failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second straight game after tossing seven over the previous three games.
Calzada has passed for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns, with nine interceptions.
The running duo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane has been solid all season. Spiller has rushed for 914 yards and five touchdowns and averages 5.7 yards per carry, while Achane has 816 yards and seven scores while sporting a stellar 7.6 average.
Defensively, the Aggies have 29 sacks. Defensive end Tyree Johnson has a team-leading eight and defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal has 6.5.
Prairie View (7-2) had a six-game winning streak snapped last week when it fell 31-29 to Alcorn State.
Panthers coach Eric Dooley knows it’s a step up in competition to face Texas A&M, but he’s not going to sell his team short.
“It’s going to be great for our guys to have that opportunity,” Dooley said on the SWAC conference call. “I always tell our guys you have to seize the moment. When you have that opportunity, you have to seize that opportunity.”
With Prairie View leading the West Division of the SWAC, the timing of the game isn’t ideal to Dooley.
“If I had it my way, we would have this game in September,” Dooley said. “We have to prepare like anything else. … We’re going to compete for 60 minutes.”
Former Louisville quarterback Jawon Pass has thrown for 2,363 yards and 16 touchdowns, with seven interceptions.
Linebacker Tre’Shaud Smith leads the Panthers with 65 tackles, and defensive end Jason Dumas has a team-best 7.5 sacks.
This will be the second meeting between the schools. Texas A&M rolled to a 67-0 win in 2016.
–Field Level Media