A bye week separates Texas A&M from a three-game slate against conference opponents, two of which are ranked in the top 10.
Junior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike said last weekend’s 45-14 win over the University of Texas at San Antonio, which made the team bowl eligible, gives the Aggies momentum heading into the bye week and the rest of the season.
“It's a great feeling, but we're not done,” Madubuike said. “We're not satisfied. We're going to have this bye week. Take care of our bodies. Tighten up things and practice things that need to be tightened up and get ready to play South Carolina in two weeks.”
Whereas during the first bye week earlier in the season the Aggies focused on the fundamentals of the game and getting the basics right, junior quarterback Kellen Mond said the team is focused on recovering before a grueling final three games this time around.
“As a team and me individually, I feel really comfortable with where we're at,” Mond said. “You know, obviously there's some stuff that we need to clean up. We're not perfect. But I like where we're at, and I look forward to this bye week, getting our minds and getting our body right, and continue to progress on to South Carolina.”
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said the team will use this bye week to work on the minute details before finishing out the season.
“[We have] a lot of room to grow,” Fisher said. “Got a week to get cleaned up and healed and get better and then get in the game week and play three games down the stretch. So got a lot of football left.
Madubuike said nutrition is also a focus for the team during the bye week.
“We're just getting into it by stretching tomorrow, doing the little things right, making sure we're taking care of our bodies, eating well,” Madubuike said. “Conditioning is huge now. What you put in your body is huge now. It's starting to get cold so people are starting to get a little thicker. You have to make sure you handle your business on and off the field.”
The difference between A&M’s two bye weeks, junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon said, is that the Aggies are more confident heading into Week 11.
“It just comes down to a trust and knowing our every step,” Ausbon said. “Kellen is ready to throw the ball. Just getting on our breaks and all the details in the offense. So I don't think it's a big picture thing. I think it's just doing the details and small things on each play.”
Fisher said the Aggies’ past two games, in which they outscored their opponents 45-14 and 49-30, boosted A&M’s confidence.
“We've got great confidence in what we're doing,” Fisher said. “We can see that we're getting better in a lot of areas in which we played at. And you can see the consistency and hopefully they can see it and understand why they're playing well. When you play well, you've got to repeat it and you've got to keep building on it and keep the same intensity. You can't let up. You can't relax. You've got to reload. And you've got to get yourself going.”
Fisher said the final stretch of games will be tough, as the Aggies host South Carolina before facing No. 6 Georgia and No. 1 LSU on the road.
“South Carolina is going to come in here and try to get bowl‑eligible,” Fisher said. “Then you have to go to Georgia and you got to go do LSU. So those are going to be three great games. We're going to have to get better and better knowing we're going to have three great SEC opponents coming in, but we've got some great opportunities in front of us. Hopefully we've learned from the past.”