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

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

The Battalion

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A&M looks to earn second consecutive SEC road game win against Mississippi State

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Senior Kingsley Keke earned two sacks in the contest versus Arkansas.

After a restful and rejuvenating bye week, the No. 16 Texas A&M football team is eager to show the changes it made in practice and its ability to tack on another win on the road against a tough SEC opponent.
The Aggies made the most of their off week, enjoying a Monday without practice and a weekend free of competing on the field.
“I was able to go home,” tight end Jace Sternberger said about his time off. “I got to watch my little brother — they had a game Friday night. Then Saturday, just watched football. [I got to] be a regular person for awhile. It was nice.”
Despite the week of rest, A&M made sure to get back to the basics during practice, in hopes they could clean up offensive and defensive errors made in the beginning of the season.
“We did a good job as far as our work ethic and getting better on ourselves,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We worked on our fundamentals — just going back to blocking, then stretch blocking, then zone blocking, then gap blocking and taking on blocks. All the things on offense and defense you don’t get enough time to do during the season.”
A&M’s biggest issue on defense will be controlling Mississippi State’s veteran quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. He has 644 rushing yards on the year and leads the conference with 3,130 yards during his time with the Bulldogs. He has also maintained 768 yards through the air and holds a completion percentage of .470.
A&M senior defensive lineman Kingsley Keke said Fitzgerald’s talent under center will be challenging for the defense. However, Keke said knowing what to expect from Fitzgerald will give them the extra edge on Saturday.
“He can run. He can run for days,” Kingsley said. “He’s killed us with his legs so we have to account for that. A guy like that at the quarterback position that can run like that is tough.”
As for offense, the Aggies are focusing on what they do best — running the ball, while maintaining a strong passing game. Junior running back Trayveon Williams said watching Mississippi State’s 19-3 loss against LSU last week helped him understand what it will take to defeat Mississippi State’s athletic defense lineup.
“Offensively, on our part, we’re going to have to establish a run and be able to throw the ball,” Williams said. “But I’m excited with our game plan and everything that we have.”
The Aggies are 3-1 against SEC opponents, but have struggled to hold a lead. A&M has won the past three conference games by a touchdown or less, earning the three wins in the fourth quarter or in overtime.
Sternberger said A&M’s ability to come back from adversity late in the game comes from preparation and practice.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we are comfortable with it,” Sternberger said. “If you get comfortable in football, then something’s going wrong. I would say we’re more prepared for situations.”
The Aggies will face off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday at the Davis Wade Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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