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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Following upset over Alabama, A&M tasked with focusing on Missouri

October 13, 2021
6,946

In retrospect, perhaps Texas A&M’s 41-38 football victory over Alabama should have been seen coming.

Until a rash of injuries contributed to a couple of early losses, there were indicators the Aggies could beat Alabama appearing like Burma Shave signs along the highway.

A great coach
Recruiting
Size and speed
Determined and gritty
Makes the Tide recede
Bama shave!

Since Jimbo Fisher arrived at A&M, he has been steadily building toward a championship-caliber football program.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Shemar Turner, Texas A&M’s most recent recruiting win over Alabama, has the makings of being a future superstar.

He has signed three consecutive top-ten recruiting classes. He has won several recruiting jousts over Alabama, including McKinnley Jackson, Tunmise Adeleye, DeMarvin Leal, Antonio Johnson and Shemar Turner.

He has developed talent. As many as five Aggies — DeMarvin Leal, Kenyon Green, Isaiah Spiller, Jalen Wydermyer and Ainias Smith — have been projected as possible first-round selections in next year’s NFL Draft.

The Aggies were 9-1 last season. Several of those games were won in the fourth quarter. Fisher’s teams improve as the season goes on. They’re mentally and physically tough.

That was apparent from the outset in the Alabama victory.

Though coming off consecutive losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State, the Aggies scored on their first three series against Alabama.

When Alabama wrested the lead away late in the fourth quarter, the Aggies responded with a game-tying touchdown drive. A three-and-out defensive series followed. Afterward, quarterback Zach Calzada limped off the bench to take the Aggies on a drive for a game-winning field goal.

None of that occurs without tremendous mental toughness.

“I think this is a testament to our leadership. Coach Jimbo not giving up on us. Us not giving up on this team,” Spiller said. “I feel like even though we went through some struggles, adversity can teach you something. You can learn from it, or you can just stay where you’re at. I think we definitely learned from it, and I can’t wait to keep moving forward.”

That toughness will be tested again on Saturday at Missouri. The Aggies proved they could successfully move against Alabama. Now, they must prove they can successfully move on from Alabama.

That’s not necessarily easy.

Remember in 2002, the Aggies knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma at Kyle Field. They lost to next week … to Missouri.

“I feel like even though we went through some struggles, adversity can teach you something. You can learn from it, or you can just stay where you’re at. I think we definitely learned from it, and I can’t wait to keep moving forward.”
- A&M running back Isaiah Spiller

An epic victory can provide an infusion of confidence and be a springboard to a great season. Or it can merely be an oasis in a desert of disappointment if the Aggies overlook Missouri (3-3, 0-2).

For now, the Aggies insist they’re intent on proving the Alabama upset wasn’t a mirage.

“I feel like (Missouri) in the same boat as us,” Johnson said. “They have a point to prove. They have basically a chip on their shoulder, so we’ve got to go just as focused as we were last week.”

Green echoed those thoughts.

“Intensity in practice every day … That’s the main focus,” he said. “Keeping the intensity and the mindset we had all (last) week for this week. Keeping it throughout the season and making sure we keep everybody accountable to do what we have to do to keep winning.”

Grandiose prizes are there to be won if the Aggies keep winning. If they finish 10-2, a New Year’s Six bowl game could beckon. Possibly more.

If A&M runs the table and Alabama loses again, the Aggies could win the SEC West. If they then upset Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, they would have a reasonable chance of getting into the College Football Playoff.

Ten wins, including victories over two No. 1 ranked opponents, might trump injury-plagued early losses.

Looking that far ahead is counterproductive, though. Missouri isn’t a powerful football team by any means, but no win can be assumed regardless of an opponent’s struggles.

Ask Alabama.

So how do the Aggies guard against an Alabama hangover or overlooking Missouri?

“I think it just takes ultra-focus,” Spiller said. “It takes leadership … bringing the guys back to reality.

“Just realizing that we have to start all over again. The season ain’t over yet. Basically, we ain’t done yet, so we’ve got to keep going.”

And just heed the signs:

A big victory
Quickly
Put to rest
Could propel A&M
to win the West
Bama shave!

Discussion from...

Following upset over Alabama, A&M tasked with focusing on Missouri

4,660 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by northaustinaggie87
AgOutsideAustin
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AG
Hopefully we can exhume another victory
Hehateme1
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lol, Olin, there's still a few of us that remember those old Burma Shave signs. Good job !!
dcg4403
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AG
Another good write-up but let's pump the brakes talking CFP aspirations. As a fan base this already caused a lot of angst with what probably is a very unrealistic expectation. Let's just hope to win out for the season! Reasonable goal in my opinion and the highest mark. And getting to a NYs Eve bowl would be amazing.

A 2 loss team to Arkansas and Miss St isn't getting a playoff bid even if they did win the West and beat GA. That is blowing smoke, Olin.

GA would deserve the bid over the Aggies at that point, assuming that would be loss #1 for GA.

Georgia losses its 1st game in the SEC Championship to what would probably be a top 15 ranked Aggie team. We would still have 2 losses to what will probably be two unranked SEC west teams. Sorry Olin but that math just doesn't stack up and the CFP committee isn't going to justify those losses due to injuries and not having our team ready to play early in the season. But if only we had heat State! Darn it!!

Go Ags! Let's finish the season undefeated from this point forward and gain some much needed recruiting momentum and land in a great bowl game. I still would consider that a fantastic season considering what we saw in Games 1 to 4.
MaroonStain
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AG
Pump the brakes? **** NO. Full steam ahead.

Get in the bus, Gus, or make a new plan, Stan.
Iraq2xVeteran
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AG
dcg4403 said:

Another good write-up but let's pump the brakes talking CFP aspirations. As a fan base this already caused a lot of angst with what probably is a very unrealistic expectation. Let's just hope to win out for the season! Reasonable goal in my opinion and the highest mark. And getting to a NYs Eve bowl would be amazing.

A 2 loss team to Arkansas and Miss St isn't getting a playoff bid even if they did win the West and beat GA. That is blowing smoke, Olin.

GA would deserve the bid over the Aggies at that point, assuming that would be loss #1 for GA.

Georgia losses its 1st game in the SEC Championship to what would probably be a top 15 ranked Aggie team. We would still have 2 losses to what will probably be two unranked SEC west teams. Sorry Olin but that math just doesn't stack up and the CFP committee isn't going to justify those losses due to injuries and not having our team ready to play early in the season. But if only we had heat State! Darn it!!

Go Ags! Let's finish the season undefeated from this point forward and gain some much needed recruiting momentum and land in a great bowl game. I still would consider that a fantastic season considering what we saw in Games 1 to 4.
I agree with you. Winning out to finish the regular season 10-2 would be our ceiling and should get us to a NY6 bowl. Our toughest remaining game is the road game at Ole Miss on 11/13, and that is the only game we are not favored to win. We will probably need to score a ton of points and clamp down in the red zone to beat Ole Miss. I think we can beat Ole Miss, but I won't be surprised if we lose to them. That game will probably determine 2nd place in the SEC West and even a NY6 bowl appearance.

If we somehow win the SEC West and upset Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, we would be 11-2 SEC Champions, but we will have one home loss to an unranked SEC West team. That's why we would need 2 of the 4 other Power 5 conference champions to lose 2 games each and Cincinnati to lose 1 game. I think Arkansas will lose one more game at Alabama on 11/20 and finish 9-3 and ranked in the top 25. If that was our only loss, we would just need to win out to win the SEC West. Mississippi State has tough games against Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss remaining. Their home games against Kentucky and Ole Miss are the most winnable among those five games and will determine if they finish between 5-7 to 7-5. Either way, Mississippi State will be unranked and might end up being the only SEC team to lose to LSU.

If we end the season on a 7-game winning streak, I would consider it a fantastic season, especially after an 0-2 start in SEC games. That would help us to land in a NY6 bowl and gain further recruiting momentum.


northaustinaggie87
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Great article, thank you OB!

!BAMA SHAVE!
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