Following No. 5 Texas A&M’s fifth win of the season over South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 7, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher met with the media to discuss the upcoming matchup against Tennessee.
Here’s what we learned:
No A&M football players joined the press conference on Monday, Nov. 9 as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. The number of confirmed positive cases following Saturday’s game is two, with one player and one staff member who were on the trip to Columbia, S.C., testing positive. This is in addition to sophomore safety Demani Richardson, who tested positive last week and missed the matchup with South Carolina.
Fisher said as of now, in-person activity has been paused, with all activity currently taking place on Zoom.
“As days go on, testing comes back and quarantine protocols come back,” Fisher said. “We’re playing today, we’re meeting and doing everything as if we would be here, we’re just doing it on Zoom.”
A&M has become a serious contender for the playoffs, with the top four teams in the nation being selected. The Aggies are only one spot away; all A&M needs is to continue winning and to have one of the teams above them in rankings (Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Clemson) lose. Of the four teams A&M still has to play, No. 24 Auburn is the only one that is ranked.
Despite the potential to make the playoffs, Fisher said the team is not focused on the CFP rankings that are set to come out soon.
“It is clutter to me too,” Fisher said. “All I want to do is go prepare to play well at Tennessee. It doesn’t matter where you’re at now, if you’re running a 100-meter dash and it's 60 meters, which we’re six games in, where you stand is not permanent. You have got to learn to not worry about those things.”
Graduate student defensive tackle Micheal Clemons did not see the field in the matchup against South Carolina. He has suffered an ankle injury for which he had surgery on Monday, Nov. 9. Clemons recorded 14 total tackles, one quarterback hurry and four sacks this season, prior to injury.
Fisher said it is unclear when Clemons will be good to play again.
“Micheal [Clemons] is banged up, had an ankle that he had to have surgery on today,” Fisher said. “He’s out until whenever he could recover. They said it could be anywhere from 3-5 [weeks] you could put a timetable on it. So when he gets better we’ll put him in there.”