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2021 Texas A&M Aggies: High Expectations Again
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Texas A&M Aggies: High Expectations Again

I’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt when people are saying how good Texas A&M is going to be. They are a program which is usually good but hardly ever great. Last year the Aggies went 9-1 but only three of those victories were against teams with a winning record and the loss was a 52-24 blowout at Alabama. They played the three worst teams from the East division plus Florida. This year they have to replace a 4-year starter at QB, and rebuild the offensive line. Those are big question marks that can’t be ignored. But they have players and a favorable schedule for an SEC team so they should win a bunch of games.

Offense: Who replaces 4-year starter Kellen Mond? Haynes King was the back-up in 2020 and sophomore Zach Calzada will press him. The position wasn’t settled in the spring and won’t be settled for awhile in the preseason. Another issue is the offensive line that has only one starter (All-American Kenyon Green) returning. They need a strong offensive line to create holes for the one-two running back combo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. There might not be a better twosome in the country. Versatile Ainias Smith played everywhere last year and caught 43 balls for 564 yards and 6 TDs. The Aggies lost some receivers through the transfer portal and need 2020 five-start recruit Demond Demas to realize his potential.

Defense: Texas A&M is strong on defense. Upfront Jayden Peevy and Tyree Johnson. return from the No. 2 rushing defense in the country. There is an abundance of depth and it will be hard to run on the Aggies again. They lost linebacker Buddy Johnson to the NFL but Aaron Hansford is back and there are young players waiting in line. The secondary returns all 5 starters from a year ago and CB Jaylon Jones is turning into a star. He is joined by S Demani Richardson to form a talented duo.

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/4 Kent State

9/11 at Colorado

9/18 New Mexico

11/20 Prairie View A&M

There is only one game on this schedule that won’t be over by halftime and that is the game at Colorado. A trip to the mountains in Boulder is always dangerous because of the altitude and the Buffaloes are usually decent. It’s game 2 of the season and the new QB and offensive line might still be struggling.

Conference Schedule:

9/25 Arkansas at Arlington

10/2 Mississippi State

10/9 Alabama

10/16 at Missouri

10/23 South Carolina

11/6 Auburn

11/13 at Ole Miss

11/27 at LSU

This is a relatively easy schedule for the SEC. The Aggies dodge Georgia and Florida from the East and have Alabama at home. Other home games against Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Auburn are games they need to win. They have Arkansas at Arlington instead of Fayetteville and the Razorbacks always play them tough. The game at Missouri is especially dangerous because it is the week after Alabama and A&M could be flat. They should win at Ole Miss and the season finale at LSU could have major implications if things go the Aggies way.

Summary: The Aggies have a lot to like heading into 2021. They appear to have a dominating defense and a potentially strong running game. Coach Jimbo Fisher has recruited well and has the program on the rise. But, they don’t have a proven QB and they haven’t played Alabama close since he has been there. Can they beat them in College Station and then dodge an upset or two somewhere else along the way?

Predicted Finish: 2nd Place in the SEC West

Overall Record: 9-3

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