Buddy Johnson

Junior linebacker Buddy Johnson completed seven tackles against Texas State.

No. 8 Auburn has never lost a game in Kyle Field, but the Aggies are looking to change that this weekend.

No. 17 Texas A&M will open Southeastern Conference competition against the Tigers at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Several Aggies said playing at home gives A&M the advantage going into the matchup.

Junior linebacker Buddy Johnson said the energy the home crowd gives the players is the biggest advantage.

“I love the 12th Man,” Johnson said. “You can always count on them. I’m not even worried about that. I know the 12th Man will be there loud and proud.”

Junior quarterback Kellen Mond said getting the win this weekend will give the Aggies momentum moving forward as they will take on No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 LSU on the road to close the season.

“We have a couple home games coming up, but to start it off against Auburn, a really good opponent, a Top 10 team, to get to come and play in front of your home crowd is a really big advantage,” Mond said.

In addition to playing in front of a home crowd, the Aggies are facing Auburn’s true freshman quarterback Bo Nix.

Mond, who saw time as a true freshman himself, said road games are tough for any quarterback.

“It’s really difficult [for] any quarterback coming in the road in any offense,” Mond said. “We have a huge advantage with the 12th Man, but it’s going to be a really big week.”

Though the Tigers are starting an inexperienced quarterback in Bo Nix, who will face the Aggies in his first road game, Fisher said he will still be challenging for the A&M defense to contain.

“Bo Nix is an outstanding young man,” Fisher said. “I’ve known Bo for a long time. His father played for me and was one heck of a football player. Not only that, he’s a competitor and he has a football mind, one of the best I’ve ever been associated with.”

In last year’s game against the Tigers, the Aggies struggled on the road, falling 28-24.

“With last year’s game, we were right there and we let them get the momentum and they just ran away with it,” Johnson said. “It’s the small things.”

The Aggies have had success at home so far this season, while struggling in their only road game thus far against Clemson, junior fullback Cagan Baldree said.

“We feed off the crowd,” Baldree said. “[We’ve] seen how much success we’ve had at home, especially in the last two years. It’s the perfect scenario to get SEC kicked off the right way and to have the crowd behind us is just going to give us that little bit of extra energy.”

In previous years, though, the result has been much different, especially when the Aggies host ranked opponents. Since 2012, A&M is 6-9 against ranked opponents at Kyle Field.

The Aggies will host the Tigers on Saturday with kickoff at 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

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