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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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3 takeaways from Monday’s press conference

Head+Coach+Jimbo+Fisher+is+interviewed+by+an+ESPN+reporter+after+the+first+half+at+Kyle+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Sep.+10%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher is interviewed by an ESPN reporter after the first half at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022.

The Texas A&M football team has certainly not lived up to the preseason hype placed upon them. The Aggies came in ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP poll following a massive upset over Alabama in 2021 and brought in the best recruiting class of all time.
Fast forward to Week 7, and the Aggies are 3-3.
Aside from the victory over Alabama, last year’s 8-4 season was seen as a disappointment that was contingent upon a Haynes King injury.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher elected to start King again this year before switching to LSU transfer Max Johnson after a home loss to Appalachian State in Week 2. Johnson broke a bone in his throwing hand three weeks and two wins later, and King was thrust back into the starting lineup when he almost upset Alabama in Week 6. However, there are no moral victories in the SEC, and the 24-20 loss in Tuscaloosa, Ala., brought the Aggies into their bye week at 3-3.
It has been a year of the unexpected so far for Fisher’s squad.
Fisher looks to get the Aggies back on track and finish the second half of the season strong.
On Monday, Oct. 17, senior tight end Max Wright and junior defensive back Antonio Johnson joined Fisher and addressed the media as they head into the back half of the schedule.
Here are three important takeaways from Monday afternoon:
Take advantage of the bye
Bye weeks are crucial for players to get healthy. This is especially true for an A&M team that has been ravaged by the injury bug.
Additionally, the Aggies are incredibly young. True freshmen are all over the field for A&M on both sides of the ball. The bye will be important to accelerate young players’ growth and maturity.
“Sunday night, I started watching film. Started kind of getting a breakdown of what I thought of these guys, their defense, the looks they’re going to give us,” Wright said.
“Any time you come off an off week, you get to refresh your buttons, you get to heal up, you get to get your mind cleared,” Fisher said. “Any time that off week comes, it feels like that is a second season.”
“You can go more in depth in your preparation because you have more time,” Johnson said.
South Carolina will be a test on Saturday
A&M is 8-0 against South Carolina, but this is not a team to look past. A&M cannot assume that South Carolina is the same team as last year, and this will likely be a very competitive game.
“South Carolina, a very good football team playing very well right now, they’re 4-2,” Fisher said. “Experience on defense … [junior] Spencer Rattler’s doing a good job at quarterback; their running back, No. 1 [sophomore MarShawn Lloyd], can really run the ball … Special teams always [does] a great job.”
“As much as we’ve beat them in the last few years, this is an entirely new season,” Wright said.
Quarterback plan against South Carolina uncertain
King was injured in Tuscaloosa before the bye week. While Kings has had two weeks to rest and recover, it is possible that he is not at 100%. Fisher seemed to shoot these rumors down, but rumors of true freshman Conner Weigman getting his first playing time this week are alive and well. King may remain the starter and take all the snaps again this week, but this could be a situation to monitor.
“During the bye week, Conner [Weigman was] able to get in there and get plenty of reps,” Wright said. “Conner [Weigman]’s kind of a guy that comes in and his football IQ is off the charts. You look at him whenever he’s out there, he seems so relaxed on the field; nothing ever really seems to get under his skin.”
Fisher was inconclusive on if there is a scenario where Weigman could come in and play a few series against South Carolina: “Oh, I don’t know, we’ll wait and see. We’ll keep practicing. He’s practicing well, and Haynes [King] is also practicing well.”

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