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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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5 Things to Watch For During Saturday’s game

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+students+yell+in+support+of+the+Aggies+as+they+defeat+Northwestern+State+59-7+in+the+home+opener+at+Kyle+Field.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Texas A&M students yell in support of the Aggies as they defeat Northwestern State 59-7 in the home opener at Kyle Field.

1.) The battle in the trenches
Clemson’s biggest strength this year is their defensive line. Composed of two All-Americans and two first team All-ACC players, all four will be first or second round draft picks in 2019’s NFL Draft. A&M’s biggest challenge this week will be creating holes in this talented defensive front for Trayveon to gain major yardage, as well as maintaining a pocket for Kellen Mond to operate in. Head coach Jimbo Fisher will no doubt put a substantial emphasis on physicality on the line of scrimmage this week on both ends of the ball.
2.) Trayveon Williams’ performance
It’s no secret that A&M’s offense will be run-heavy after an explosive performance by the junior running back against Northwestern State. Williams will be instrumental in creating plays for the offense with his patient style and ability to spot holes in the defense.
3.) Tiger’s quarterback rotation
In last week’s game against Furman, Clemson gave senior Kelly Bryant the start under center, but he did not have the best performance of the day. Highly touted freshman Trevor Lawrence came in and had massive success, throwing more efficiently than Bryant and throwing two more touchdowns. Bryant, though a solid passer, is definitely a threat on the ground. He had five rushes for 44 yards and one touchdown, while Lawrence really showed out in the air. Bryant will no doubt get the start on Saturday night, but how much he will play will depend on his performance. Lawrence will see time in both halves to relieve Bryant.
4.) More field time for TE Jace Sternberger
As seen last week against Northwestern State, Sternberger took an immediate role in moving the ball down the field and getting ahead early against the Demons. He earned the John Mackey Tightend of the Week award after an impressive opening performance with 56 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. This week will be no different. His ability to separate and create open looks for Kellen Mond is going to be a key component of this offense. Additionally, look for Sternberger’s improvement when he has possession of the ball using his impressive athleticism.
5.) The sold-out crowd’s effect on Clemson’s play
Clemson has played on the biggest stages that college football has to offer. Just in the last two years, they have blanked Ohio State, beat Alabama to win the College Football Playoff and played in the Fiesta Bowl in a consecutive CFP appearance. However, there is a significant difference between a neutral site with 100,000 people and a crowd where the majority of 100,000 people are going to try to drown the Tigers out all game. Crowds like the one A&M brings can be the difference between a win or loss. Expect this to be a major factor in A&M’s performance.

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