Texas A&M is looking forward after its second conference road game win in two seasons.
With an ailing Mississippi State squad coming into Kyle Field on Saturday, the Aggies are looking for their first win streak of the season after trading the first seven games. If the Aggies pull it off, it will be their first win over the Bulldogs since 2015.
Junior quarterback Kellen Mond said that the opportunity to grow and get over the hump could be this week before facing the 3-4 Bulldogs.
“Any win is a big win for us,” Mond said. “Especially, doesn’t matter what team it is, an SEC road win is always gonna be big. That always helps our confidence, so we got to continue to grow as a team.”
Although the Bulldogs have displayed offensive ineptitude over the last three games against Auburn, Tennessee and LSU, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t feel the same way about Mississippi State’s defense.
“They come off a really tough game with LSU, who’s playing extremely well right now,” Fisher said. “Defensively, Mississippi State is very talented. Front guys all played against us last year. Big, heavy, strong guys that can change the line of scrimmage.”
Fisher also said individual defensive players for Mississippi State have impressed, and cornerback Cameron Dantzler is one of the best defensive backs that A&M will see this season.
A&M is battling some injury issues as well, with cornerback Charles Oliver, defensive end Michael Clemons, defensive back Keldrick Carper and tight end Glenn Beal day-to-day after missing the contest against Ole Miss Saturday, Fisher said. Cornerback Roney Elam is still unavailable for unspecified reasons.
“Hopefully some of these guys will be back,” Fisher said. “We’re expecting some of them back, I can’t say all [of them] or not, depending on how things go during the week.”
Additionally, Fisher announced that defensive backs Larry Pryor and Derrick Tucker will not play this season, with Pryor no longer on A&M’s roster and Tucker redshirting.
A&M’s lack of offensive rhythm in nearly every game this season is haunting the Aggies through conference play, and Mond said that it is something that will come over time.
“We have a lot of good players,” Mond said. “We got leaders on the team, but it's kind of hard to find that rhythm sometimes. We show glimpses of it, but it’s kind of the same thing that I say each week, we got to be a little bit more consistent. It’s easy for anybody to point it out, but to fix it, it’s kinda hard.”
Linebacker Buddy Johnson was announced as SEC Defensive Player of the Week after scoring a touchdown off a fumble by Ole Miss Saturday to reclaim the lead, which was the longest fumble return for a touchdown since 2004.
Johnson said that his accomplishments are still the team’s accomplishments.
“It’s a great honor,” Johnson said. “I’ve always been a team player. … We just got to keep working. It’s a great accomplishment for us to have, and [we want to] get more of them.”
A&M will face Mississippi State at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.