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Texas A&M Football

Ainias Smith ready for back-and-forth battle with Arkansas in Arlington

September 24, 2023

Senior wideout Ainias Smith is beginning to make his presence felt as he has caught 12 passes for 205 yards over his last two ballgames. "Sub Zero" sat down for an exclusive interview to recap A&M's win over Auburn and to look ahead to this weekend's meeting with Arkansas.

Key notes from Ainias Smith interview

  • It felt good. We knew that it was going to be a tough game. Auburn always plays us tough. Last year, we lost that game. This year, we wanted to get back. That was the message. It felt good getting an SEC win, and it felt good playing Kyle Field getting an SEC win. The crowd was awesome. The 12th Man was rocking. It felt good.
  • Anything can happen in the SEC. I feel like the tables are pretty even across the board. Auburn has come here in the past and won, but we don’t get too much into those stats. We’re aware that anything can happen. You have to be on your P’s and Q’s, especially in the SEC. It’s best to know that you have to play hard. All the keys you need to win, you have to play hard and execute them.
  • In previous years in situations like that, I’ve been part of teams where we come out ready and are energetic at halftime. We know we’re beating ourselves and just need to execute. I’ve also been part of teams that are dull, dry and defeated. This week, our defense was playing well. They went out first in the third quarter and got a three-and-out. The offense knew what we needed to do, and we started fast.
  • I felt like we were beating ourselves. We moved the ball well early on two drives. We had penalties that moved us back, and we settled for field goals on both drives. If the fumble would have stood, we could have been up 21-0 in the first quarter. It was tough not being able to finish.
  • I’m glad I have another opportunity to talk about Max Johnson. He already knew he was ready for the situation. He was ready to be thrown in every time. After practice, he is always there getting extra throws, and every time, he is always finishing with a touchdown. He always talks about having four second left, no times and needing it. It’s simple throws after practice, but he is making sure he stays ready. That showed in the game. He was poised, relaxed and calm. He was ready to take over the game, and that’s what he did.
  • It’s crazy that Max and Jake Johnson are still on the same team. We talked about them connecting for a touchdown in the locker room and stuff. That was a moment for them and everybody. It was special for them. It was special for me. I know they have to be talking about that. It was special to see them make that connection. It was great.
  • I haven’t had a chance to talk to Conner Weigman yet, but his hopes are always high. Even in this situation, he still has positive energy. He’s going to just be him. I’ll talk to him about keeping his head clear and staying as joyful as he always is. I know he’s going to be OK, for sure.
  • Somebody came up to me during Stretch and Stride today and told me to get my revenge on that turf in Arlington. It’s definitely time. This week, I’ll take it more personally because of what happened last year, but at the same time, I’m just going to play the game. I’m not going to press or stress.
  • I just give my glory to God. I was talking to some of the guys earlier. I felt like I could’ve been doing some things differently in my personal life over the last couple of weeks. One of those things is not doing my schoolwork. I’ve changed that. I’ve been trusting in God, and He has had me. I’ve been praying with Mikado Hinson before every game, and God came through.
  • When it comes to scheme and stuff, sure they were trying to get me the ball more. I got my touches, and I was just trying to make the most of them.
  • Jimbo Fisher talks about who you are off the field is who you are on the field. I felt like I didn’t want to do school, but I needed to hold myself more accountable and do what I needed to off the field. God blessed me.
  • I was on the field on the fumble return. I didn’t see Jimbo on the field at first, but I saw the clip of him on the field. It was crazy. It was crazy to see him on film. “Jimbo is really on the field right now?” It was wild.
  • If we become just a little more balanced... I feel like we do have the best receiving corps in the nation, but a lot of defenses try to defend that. First down is the most important down of a drive, so you have to find some positivity to open up the dry. I’m confident in the receiving corps, but if we can get the running game and tight ends involved a little bit more, we could be something. You’re starting to see the tight ends get open. We have so many weapons at so many positions, and we still haven’t used all of our backs. We still have David Bailey and Earnest Crownover. We have some dogs. We have a long schedule ahead of us, and we’re going to need everybody.
  • I was watching Alabama and Ole Miss yesterday. Both of those teams are tough. LSU is always tough to play, and we play them in Baton Rouge this year. Arkansas is always tough. It’s a tough schedule, but that’s the pressure you want.
  • I remember when I first got here, all the coaches were saying that Arkansas plays hard and it will be a fight until the finish. That’s always true. They play hard to the end. That’s the culture of their team, and they have a lot of people that do their jobs very well. You are not able to mess around with them. They do their jobs from special teams to offense to defense. You can’t let up against a team like that. They try to find every inch and everything they can possibly find to win the game. With our coaching staff and with us trying to win, I feel like we’re not going to allow that. There will be punches thrown back and forth the entire way. It’ll be decided by whoever wants it more.
  • Playing with more older brother, I always had to go harder because they were better than me. I tried to never go down. We used to play “Crush the Carrier.” When I was younger, I would tell myself not to go down and try to stay up. I do that to this day. People always talk about YAC and trying to get extra yards. I’m just trying to play ball.
Discussion from...

Ainias Smith ready for back-and-forth battle with Arkansas in Arlington

6,264 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by Matsui
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have really enjoyed watching ainias over his career. i think he is a guy that gets a bit overlooked because he is so versatile. i would love to see this kid play db i bet he would be great at that as well. he is a very unselfish mature player and a great ag.
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Love his effort Glad he is on our team
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