Isaiah Spiller

Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller led the Aggies with 116 rushing yards against Lamar.

The No. 17 Aggies will kick off Southeastern Conference play against No. 8 Auburn on Saturday. Here’s what the players and A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher had to say before this weekend’s game:

Aggies confident in home field advantage

As A&M kicks off SEC competition against Auburn this weekend, the Aggies say hosting the Tigers at Kyle Field gives them an advantage over the ranked opponent.

The Aggies struggled in the road matchup last year, falling 28-24, but with the game coming at home on Saturday, A&M says there will be a different result, especially as the Aggies are facing Auburn’s true freshman quarterback Bo Nix.

“It’s tough to play here,” junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon said. “Good luck — Kyle Field comes with it. At 2:30 in the afternoon, it’s going to be hot, so it’s everything we want it to be.”

“Jumbo Jimbo Package” will be a facet of offense in SEC play

Sophomore defensive lineman Bobby Brown is becoming a force on offense in addition to his duties on defense, in what he has coined the “Jumbo Jimbo Package.” In the scheme, Fisher uses Brown to create a space for the running backs. Junior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is also a part of this plan, though he hasn’t seen time on offense as of yet.

“I love [running behind Brown],” sophomore running back Jacob Kibodi said. “Bobby gets in there and does a great job. He moves bodies, and that’s what we need him [to do].”

Spiller making an impact despite youth

Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller has posted over 100 rushing yards in two games for A&M, making a statement in his first year. Last Saturday against Lamar, Spiller stepped up to fill the place of sophomore running back Jashaun Corbin, who suffered a season-ending hamstring injury against Clemson. The freshman garnered 116 yards and two touchdowns in his outing against the Cardinals.

“He can make one or two guys miss,” Ausbon said of Spiller. “Those 3-yard runs turn into 10 or 11-yard runs.”

Update on injuries

The Aggies are finally recovering from early-season injuries, Fisher said. Junior defensive lineman Jayden Peevy will be playing in Saturday’s game after sustaining an injury against Clemson. Fisher also said sophomore defensive lineman Max Wright is day-to-day and junior defensive back Elijah Blades should be ready.

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