Four days separate Texas A&M from a rematch of last season’s statement win over LSU, but emotions are already running high.
LSU players began taking shots at A&M immediately after their win over Arkansas last Saturday.
Junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had only three rushing yards in last year’s matchup with the Aggies, but he said on Saturday he and the Tigers are eager for revenge.
“It’s already redemption time,” Edwards-Helaire said. “The gear is already switched. To understand that pain as a player, it doesn’t get worse than that.”
Some players were more reserved in their comments.
"I'm excited for Saturday," senior quarterback Joe Burrow said. "Chance to go 12-0."
Not only are the players excited for the game, but junior safety JaCoby Stevens said he anticipates a big showing from the fans as well.
"Trust me," Stevens said. "I expect Tiger Stadium to be packed with a lot of angry fans, too."
LSU coach Ed Orgeron even joined in on the trash talk on Saturday.
“It’s going to be on,” Orgeron said. “I’ll never forget that game last year. We’re gonna be ready.”
Despite LSU’s comments on the upcoming game, junior linebacker Buddy Johnson said the Aggies are paying no attention.
“We’re not worried about it; It’s the next game for us,” Johnson said. “There’s no reason to talk right now. We’re just focusing on us right now.”
Junior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike said while LSU is focused on last season’s game, the Aggies know this is a new year.
“It’s just another opportunity for us to finish this season strong,” Madubuike said. “What happened last year was last year, but this year is a new year, a new opportunity for us to show what we can do. We’re just going to keep it as simple as possible.”
A&M is coming off a close 19-13 loss to No. 4 Georgia, but Madubuike said the loss doesn’t change how the Aggies are approaching the game.
“We’re going to have a lot of emotion as well,” Madubuike said. “We believe that we could have beaten the No. 4 team in the nation, and we came up a little bit short. We’re pretty pissed off too, so it’s going to be a boxing match.”
On Saturday, the Aggies will travel to Baton Rouge to face No. 1 LSU in Tiger Stadium, capping off a two-game road slate. Though Death Valley is an intense playing environment, junior quarterback Kellen Mond said A&M has been in those situations before.
Mond said the Aggies’ own energy will counteract the effects of the enemy stadium.
“Playing on the road against Clemson, against Georgia, playing in different environments, bringing our own energy is something we got better at,” Mond said “Going into this LSU game, that’s going to be something big.”
The Aggies may not be as vocal about their confidence as LSU is, but last year’s win gives A&M hope moving into the weekend, Mond said.
“It helps the confidence and motivation going into the game,” Mond said. “Just knowing you can play with that caliber team. We’re not scared at all and we’re not backing down.”