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Texas A&M Football

Aggies eye defending champ Alabama in setting 2021 championship goals

April 6, 2021
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Three weeks of spring football practices, six months and five regular-season games must elapse before the biggest clash of the 2021 football season arrives.

However, it was clear on Tuesday that October 9 is on the minds of Texas A&M players. That’s the day the Aggies play host to defending national champion Alabama. By then, Alabama likely will come to Kyle Field riding the crest of a 19-game winning streak.

“It’s going to be a good game,” junior offensive lineman Kenyon Green said. “We’re going to go out there and give it our all. I just want my team to get something from all the work we put in. Hopefully, we can go out there and get a win. That’s the main thing. I can’t wait for that game. It’s going to be a good one.”

Though A&M fell to Alabama 52-24 last season, the Aggies went on to post a 9-1 record, win the Orange Bowl over North Carolina and finish No. 4 in the final AP rankings.

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports
Alabama has won six SEC titles since A&M joined the SEC in 2012, and the Aggies know they must upend the Crimson Tide to take the next step. 

Some in media think A&M has surpassed LSU as Alabama’s chief threat in the Southeastern Conference West Division.

A&M, of course, would rather surpass Alabama as national champion. That would require defeating the Crimson Tide, which the Aggies have not done since 2012.

But with nine starters from the SEC’s premier defense and an arsenal of skill players returning, perhaps the Aggies can close the gap with the Crimson Tide. They’re certainly taking that approach in spring football drills.

“We’re not putting pressure on ourselves,” said defensive tackle Jayden Peevy, who opted to return for a ‘super senior’ season. “We just have a standard in this program now that we want to be the No. 1 team in the nation. We’re going to practice like that. We’re going to play like that. Every day we’re coming out there with that mindset to be the No. 1 team.”

“You have to have the mindset every day. Even the coaches are coming out there saying ‘Hey, you wanna win? This is what we’re going to have to do.’ They’re giving us the right strategies for it.”

Alabama has had significant losses from its national championship team. Among those losses are quarterback Mac Jones, Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith, cornerback Patrick Surtain, receiver Jaylen Waddle, center Landon Dickerson, defensive lineman Christian Barmore, running back Najee Harris and tackle Alex Leatherwood, who are all projected as first or second-round picks in recent NFL mock drafts.

Of course, the Aggies also have holes to fill, especially in replacing departed quarterback Kellen Mond — a projected second-round pick — and four starters from one of the nation’s top offensive lines in 2020.

“I feel like this program is making steps toward a big-time program, we’re going to see this season if we can beat Alabama.”
- Senior DL Jayden Peevy

As A&M begins the process of filling those holes this Spring, some of the veterans have been encouraged by newcomers.

“It just impressed me how freshmen, young guys…  how they came in determined to learn and know what defense they’re walking into,” Leal said. “To try to build a relationship with us older guys just like we’re trying to build a relationship with them. They’re open to that. It’s just the mindset. I loved it.”

Will that mindset spur the Aggies on to another stellar season in 2021? Could it lead to an elusive victory over Alabama, the gold standard of college football?

“All I can say is I can’t wait for the Bama game,” Leal said.

Peevy echoed that sentiment.

“I feel like this program is making steps toward a big-time program,” he said. “We’re going to see this season if we can beat Alabama.”

Discussion from...

Aggies eye defending champ Alabama in setting 2021 championship goals

5,251 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by 1st Generation Ag
West Point Aggie
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AG
Haven't we asked this question every year since 2013?
Maroon Flash
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This is the first year since 2013 when we have enough talent to have a legitimate shot at beating their ass.
West Point Aggie
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Somewhere in alabama Saban probably chuckled...and that's not BAS either.
Jimbo4win
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I would rather players not discuss the Bama game at all other than "it's just one step toward our ultimate goal" Placing so much emphasis on the Bama game in April is the sort of thing that might allow us to beat Bama BUT it's also the sort of thing that could lead to a loss vs Miss St the week before or Missouri the week after..
West Point Aggie
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Jimbo4win said:

I would rather players not discuss the Bama game at all other than "it's just one step toward our ultimate goal" Placing so much emphasis on the Bama game in April is the sort of thing that might allow us to beat Bama BUT it's also the sort of thing that could lead to a loss vs Miss St the week before or Missouri the week after..

Discussing Bama in April has NO bearing on that game and said discussion has NO bearing on the game before OR the game after.

NONE
ZIP
ZILCH
NADA
SQUAT!
Meximan
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MSU and Mizzou are so far beneath A&M right now.
Jimbo4win
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AG
West Point Aggie said:

Jimbo4win said:

I would rather players not discuss the Bama game at all other than "it's just one step toward our ultimate goal" Placing so much emphasis on the Bama game in April is the sort of thing that might allow us to beat Bama BUT it's also the sort of thing that could lead to a loss vs Miss St the week before or Missouri the week after..

Discussing Bama in April has NO bearing on that game and said discussion has NO bearing on the game before OR the game after.

NONE
ZIP
ZILCH
NADA
SQUAT!


Jimbo quote.."EVERY game is huge. If you don't believe that, just lose one and you'll find out". That should be the focus and the attitude coming from the players. Which game are the Bama players talking about right now? Which game have they circled and are obsessing over?
1st Generation Ag
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Jimbo4win said:

West Point Aggie said:

Jimbo4win said:

I would rather players not discuss the Bama game at all other than "it's just one step toward our ultimate goal" Placing so much emphasis on the Bama game in April is the sort of thing that might allow us to beat Bama BUT it's also the sort of thing that could lead to a loss vs Miss St the week before or Missouri the week after..

Discussing Bama in April has NO bearing on that game and said discussion has NO bearing on the game before OR the game after.

NONE
ZIP
ZILCH
NADA
SQUAT!


Jimbo quote.."EVERY game is huge. If you don't believe that, just lose one and you'll find out". That should be the focus and the attitude coming from the players. Which game are the Bama players talking about right now? Which game have they circled and are obsessing over?
I remember the time in fall camp when Vince Young called the sip players together by saying "Everyone who wants to beat Ohio State meet right here after practice." You know what? They did it, and finished #1.

Woody Hayes used to build teams to beat the 2-3 best opponents on his schedule each year. Won him 5 MNCs. Nothing wrong with having the stated goal of beating #1. No sense worrying about a jinx, a letdown, or not sneaking up on them. Just give them the best game. Win or lose, the talk becomes meaningless.
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