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Texas A&M Football

SEC coaches' formula for title teams bodes well for dynamic A&M squad

July 20, 2021
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Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said Texas A&M can win the national championship.

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel agreed.

Well, not really. But kinda sorta.

Speaking at SEC Media Days on Tuesday, Smart was explaining the elation of adding heralded tight end Arik Gilbert in the transfer portal.

“You’re always looking to be dynamic,” Smart said. “You look at teams that have won the national championship recently, they’re most dynamic on offense and at the skill positions.”

Later, Heupel added: “You look at the last three National champions offensively. I think every team has averaged over 520 yards on offense.”

They’re right, you know. Alabama in 2020, LSU in 2019 and Clemson in 2018 all averaged at least 527.2 yards per game.

Also, all were absolutely loaded at skill positions.

Whaddya know? A&M is absolutely loaded at (most) skill positions.

By now, it’s well-known that A&M returns one of the SEC’s best running backs in Isaiah Spiller, one of the best receivers in Ainias Smith and the best tight end in Jalen Wydermyer.

Well, it’s well-known in College Station. The rest of the SEC seems to always be late in recognizing what’s going on at A&M.

A&M is returning skill players who accounted for 90 percent of the rushing yards in 2020, more than 90 percent of the receiving yards and 88 percent of the offensive touchdowns scored (36 of 41).

That’s a lot of skill. Perhaps enough to legitimately challenge national powers Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.

A&M has an embarrassment of play-making wealth. Spiller, Smith and Wydermyer obviously are proven.

Brianna Paciorka, USA Today
The Aggies have arguably the most talented running back room in the nation, as Isaiah Spiller, Devon Achane and Ainias Smith all return in the 2021 season. 

Mercurial Devon Achane is the nation’s fastest running back and perfectly complements the powerful Spiller. Receiver Chase Lane quietly had a productive season as a first-year starter.

Coach Jimbo Fisher has said receiver Caleb Chapman has recovered from a knee injury that prevented him from having a break-out year in 2020. Heralded tight-end prospect Baylor Cupp is also healthy.

Even more heralded receiver prospect Demond Demas reportedly is ready to make an impact. So is Moose Muhammad.

The Aggies have it all at the skill positions. Well, except for… You know the end of that sentence before it’s typed.  

Kellen Mond’s departure to the NFL leaves A&M with no proven quarterback — a problem facing other potential preseason top ten teams including Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida and Notre Dame.

The Aggies could be outstanding if the winner of A&M’s quarterback competition between Haynes King and Zach Calzada demonstrates the ability to read defenses and effectively distribute the football.

On the negative side, neither has thrown more than a handful of collegiate passes. Calzada threw only 24 passes in 2019. Two resulted in touchdowns, though.

King threw only four passes in 2020. One resulted in a touchdown.

On the plus side, both have had more than a year studying under Fisher, one of the nation’s best at developing quarterbacks.

Even without Mond, the Aggies figure to be more explosive. Last year the Aggies recorded 41 plays which covered 20 yards or more.

That total could realistically double.

Mond sometimes seemed hesitant to thrown downfield, especially after Chapman sustained his season-ending injury at the end of a 50-yard touchdown catch in the victory over Florida.

Expect King or Calzada to challenge secondaries deep more often than Mond did. I do.

“You look at teams that have won the national championship recently, they’re most dynamic on offense and at the skill positions.”
- Georgia head coach Kirby Smart

Expect Chapman and Demas to provide the speed and big-play threat that force safeties to line up deep in the secondary. I do.

Consequently, expect Smith, Wydermyer and Lane to turn even more short passes into long gains. I do.

And expect Spiller and Achane to make even more gains on runs and passes out of the backfield. I do.

Go ahead and worry about four new starters on the offensive line. I don’t.

There’s enough talent there for the Aggies to remain strong up front.

Smart says a national championship team must have dynamic skill players. The Aggies have as many as any team in the SEC.

And, A&M has something else not many other teams can claim. A&M returns nine starters from a defensive unit that was ranked among the nation’s Top Ten in 2020.

The Aggies look to be pretty dynamic there, too.

Discussion from...

SEC coaches' formula for title teams bodes well for dynamic A&M squad

4,969 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by jimmo
texag0928
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Divining Rod
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Kool Aid for all!
VandalayIndustries
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And one of those Oranges from the Trophy to go with it.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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That formula presumes an OL that can protect and a 1st rounder at QB. Alot must come together for us.
AWP 97
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AG
"Mercurial Devon Achane"?

Do I not know what the word "mercurial" means?
Agsuffering@bulaw
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This was a very clever way of showing people how knowledgable the writer is. Clever because only half or less know that mercurial typically means moody.

It can also mean being like Mercury, the Roman messenger deity. Mercury was often depicted wearing winged sandals and running fast. He was also a thief and tricky. It is an apt descrption, b/c of the way Achane could slip out of tackles and break big runs.

I hate little poons who play games like the writer just did. Big words should only be used when normal words fail to fully express the concept. Elusive and Explosive would have done the trick.

BTW, I had to look it up. I was not knowledgeable enough to grasp little poon's cleverness off the cuff.
jimmo
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thanks Olin
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