The Aggies are coming off a bye week before they face Alabama on Saturday. Here’s what the players and A&M coach Jimbo Fisher had to say before this weekend’s game.
Focus on run game
No. 24 A&M has struggled to get the run game going in games against Clemson, Auburn and Arkansas, only garnering 53, 56 and 89 rushing yards in each of those games, respectively. Over the bye week, the team has focused on this aspect of the game.
“You have to have balance, but you have to move the football,” Fisher said. “You have to be able to do both [pass and run], but you have to be able to run the football.”
Home field advantage
Over the weekend, a video posted to Twitter showed ESPN’s College Gameday host Kirk Herbstreit saying Kyle Field was not intimidating and didn’t give A&M any advantage in games as they are 5-11 against ranked opponents at home since 2012. As the Aggies host No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, they said they are looking to the 12th Man to help give them an edge.
“I think [Kyle Field] is intimidating,” junior offensive lineman Carson Green said. “Our fans are really loud. The biggest thing is our yell leaders do a fantastic job getting the crowd going by doing all those chants, and in the fourth quarter, doing the War Hymn and you get to see the whole stadium swaying.
Defense focused on limiting mistakes
The A&M defense has had nine penalties in five games this season, including three pass interference calls. The team said limiting those penalties will be crucial moving ahead to Alabamam, as the Crimson Tide is known for being disciplined in that aspect.
“We just have to play football,” sophomore nose tackle Bobby Brown said. “Alabama doesn’t make many mistakes, you basically have to match their thing. You have to match their game and and be able to play your own game.”
Sport psychology helps A&M with mental preparation
Fisher says the mental aspect of football is equally as important as the physical. Some members of the team has weekly meeting with psychologist Ryan Pittsinger to help with that side of the game.
“A lot of times, in the quarterback position, a lot of stuff is put on you — a lot of pressure, stress sometimes,” junior quarterback Kellen Mond said. “It helps being able to have that resource.”