Western Carolina Catamounts vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Saturday – November 14 – 6:00 pm CT
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
The Aggies will finish off their home schedule on another down note after falling last Saturday to the Auburn Tigers 26-10. The loss all but ended any chances of this being considered a successful season as they’ve dropped three division games and still have LSU to play. Western Carolina comes in on a total different trajectory however having won five of their last six games. The Catamounts (yes, that is their nickname) defeated Furman last weekend but are only 1-3 in Southern Conference play.
What to look for when A&M has the ball
The offense has looked completely anemic in recent weeks and much of that can be attributed to injuries at the quarterback position and very questionable play calling by offensive coordinator Jake Spavital who may be on the hot seat at the end of the season. Kyle Allen was obviously hurt in the Mississippi game when the team failed to reach the end zone and the team bounced back the following week with Kyler Murray putting up a ton of yards against a very mediocre South Carolina team. Unfortunately Murray went out with an injury himself in the Auburn game forcing junior college transfer Jake Hubenak back into action in the second half and the team wasn’t able to do anything with the ball. The starter won’t be known until kickoff, but A&M does catch a break in the fact that they are playing such a weak opponent and can only hope to get back to the explosive form they showed the first five weeks of the season.
What to look for when Western Carolina has the ball
Running back Detrez Newsome has put up some very nice numbers this year and went off for 184 yards on the ground last Saturday. That bodes poorly for a maroon and white defense that has been gashed lately by the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Although it has seemed defensive coordinator John Chavis has his unit playing much better than in years past, they’ve still been giving up a ton of yards and Catamount quarterback Troy Mitchell will look to take advantage of that. He amassed 305 yards and three TDs through the air last week and should be able to have some more success due to the lack of quality play by the A&M linebackers. He’ll of course have to deal with a relentless pass rush but he’s nimble enough to get outside the pocket and make plays with his feet.
Vegas has the Aggies favored by 36 points and an over/under of 62. It will be interesting to see who starts at quarterback for A&M and to see if the team has quit on head coach Kevin Sumlin and the season. If the Ags have any hopes of redeeming this disappointing season then they need to blow out Western Carolina and then close out the season with victories over Vanderbilt and LSU.
Prediction: Texas A&M 37, Western Carolina 21