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The Battalion

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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4 takeaways from Monday’s football press conference

With+the+first+SEC+matchup+of+the+season+set+for+Saturday%2C+Oct.+2+against+Mississippi+State%2C+the+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+football+team+will+take+advantage+of+playing+at+home+in+Kyle+Field+surrounded+by+the+12th+Man.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Ryan Hartfiel

With the first SEC matchup of the season set for Saturday, Oct. 2 against Mississippi State, the Texas A&M football team will take advantage of playing at home in Kyle Field surrounded by the 12th Man. 

Following Texas A&M’s first loss to Arkansas in ten years and ahead of the second SEC contest of the season against Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 2, A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and players met with the media.
Here’s what we learned:
Blocking the haters
Following the Aggies 52-24 loss to the University of Alabama on Oct. 3, 2020, many people counted the Aggies out for the rest of their season. However, this loss lit a fire under the maroon and white, with the team aspiring to not lose another game for the rest of the season. Now, after A&M’s 20-10 loss to the Razorbacks, one cannot help but draw comparisons between the two situations, with many overlooking the Aggies’ positives during the remainder of the season.
Junior defensive back Demani Richardson said people who are counting out A&M for the rest of the 2021 football slate should “watch them ball.”
“We’re not worried about the haters or the doubters,” Richardson said. “We’re worried about ourselves, staying together and playing together as a team.”
SEC home opener
Saturday’s contest against Mississippi State marks the start of the Aggies 2021 SEC play at Kyle Field. The 12th Man student section in College Station’s football stadium is often cited as the best in the nation, having the largest capacity in the SEC.
Junior triple-threat wide receiver, running back and punt returner Ainias Smith said after A&M’s last game at the neutral site of AT&T Stadium, the Aggies are looking forward to playing their next SEC opponent with the home-field advantage.
“Being in front of the 12th Man, it’s always an honor to step on the field,” Smith said. “But I just believe the environment itself, the fanbase is going to be behind us. We’re just going to need the support at all times. It’s going to be a real big deal for us to go into Kyle Field [for] the first home game in SEC play, I believe we’re going to do great.”
“The year of the defense”
Even in A&M’s past three wins, the highest number of points on the board for the Aggies was 41 points against Kent State in the season opener on Sept. 4. Against SEC foe South Carolina in 2020, the Aggies put up 48 points on the scoreboard, and in 2019, the maroon and white scored 59 points against Lamar. Evidently, A&M’s offense has seen a decline in scoring in recent years, putting some extended pressure on the defense.
Fisher said the time for “Wrecking Crew 2.0” is now.
“It’s the year of the defense,” Fisher said. “You’re seeing lower-scoring games. A year ago, teams were averaging 40-50 points per game. This year, teams aren’t scoring as many points. I don’t see those through-the-roof scores. It doesn’t seem to me like people are scoring as much as they were a year ago.”
Growing up
The Sept. 25 game against Arkansas was the first loss of A&M’s season — the first for the freshmen. As previously mentioned, the Aggies’ loss against the Crimson Tide last year caused some serious growth in the A&M program.
Smith said the Aggies are going to use this same mentality to put on a better show against the Bulldogs.
“Nobody likes the feeling of losing, and when you do lose, you’re going to remember that feeling,” Smith said. “This team is going to remember that feeling and come back stronger than before.”

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