After a close 31-27 win over Arkansas in the Southwest Classic on Saturday, Texas A&M football players and Jimbo Fisher met with the media on Monday to preview the bye week before they face No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 12.
“Rest and Reload”
The Aggies are using this Saturday’s bye week to rest before taking on the Crimson Tide. With a strenuous schedule to follow what has been a difficult first month of play for the Aggies, A&M is focusing on resetting and fixing the mistakes that have persisted thus far.
“It’s a rest and reload,” junior punter Braden Mann said. “I don’t think it’s a relax; it’s more of a reload week. We have a week of not playing, so we’ve just got to come in and know that it’s still a work week. It just gives us two weeks to get a lot of work in, get a lot of corrections made and work on ourselves for a week.”
Seth Small rebounds from struggles
Against then-No. 8 Auburn, sophomore kicker Seth Small had two missed field goals that hurt the Aggies. He turned that around and put it behind him against Arkansas, making a 51-yard field goal that pushed A&M’s lead to four points and forced the Razorbacks to try for a touchdown on their last drive, ultimately winning the game for A&M.
“All the field goals count in the SEC,” Small said. “It just means more.”
Aggies looking ahead to No. 1 Alabama
A&M will face the No. 1 team in the nation for the second time this season. After Clemson struggled against North Carolina on Saturday, the Crimson Tide took over the top spot on Sunday. The Southeastern Conference set the A&M-Alabama kickoff time for Oct. 12 at 2:30, and CBS will broadcast the game. The Crimson Tide also has a bye this week.
“Alabama is a great team,” junior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike Madubuike said. “You know what they bring when they come to the field and play. This week for us to get our bodies right and reiterate the little things to get better at is a great thing for us.
A&M missing two members of the squad
Fisher announced on Monday that junior wide receiver Roshauud Paul has elected to redshirt this season. In just four games, Paul had nine punt returns for 120 yards. The Aggies have also been missing senior defensive back Roney Elam, who had two big games to start the season. Fisher said Elam is out indefinitely, though he didn’t give a reason for the senior’s absence.