Just 7 times in the past 20 years, the Aggies have been ranked at the preseason top 25, and although they’ve finished in the ranking just one of those seven times. Three times they finished within the top 25 after being unranked in the preseason. It’s been an odd tale of a team that’s always good not great. They’ve finished with 7-9 wins in every season since 2012, but can they elevate their game in 2020.
Top Returners: Kellen Mond, Myles Jones
It feels like Mond has been around for a while, but somehow, he’s only now entering his fourth and final season with the Aggies. He took a big step in his sophomore season, but his numbers slipped a little bit during a junior year that featured a brutal schedule. However, this year, I think Mond takes another step in a division with very few experienced quarterbacks. I would expect 3500 yards and between 25 and 30 touchdowns. Cutting down on the picks (18 over the past two years) would be a huge improvement for him.
Myles Jones will be the leader of the secondary for A&M, after breaking up six passes, intercepting two, and forcing a fumble in 2020. He’s their top defensive asset, and some big performances from him could give their lethal offense more opportunity to go to work.
Biggest Concerns: The Pass Rush
Justin Madubuike is gone, and with him goes the Aggies’ leader in sacks. Tyree Johnson returns with four sacks, and nobody else had more than two. Can Johnson elevate his game, and can the Aggies get someone else to step and up and be a force on the defensive line.
X-Factors: Demarvin Leal
I’m not listing Johnson here because I believe he’s one of the top returners and is definitely capable of putting up big numbers. Rather, I’m going with Leal, who I believe will be Texas A&M’s best shot at gaining a second impact pass rusher. He recorded 38 tackles – 5.5 for loss- with two sacks a year ago. With Madubuike out of the picture, can Leal step up and be the extra star performer the Aggies’ defense is looking for?
SEC Record Prediction: 7-1
You’re not going to convince me this offense can’t swing with the best of them in the country and in the SEC. With Mond returning, their top two rushers, and two of their top three receivers, there’s little turnover for A&M, so if their senior signal-caller improves his numbers, I like the Aggies to roll against their competition. Give me a loss to Alabama on the road, but a regular-season ending statement victory at home against LSU. I’ve never bought into Aggies’ hype, but I’m doing so this year. Let’s see if 2020 brings big things for Jimbo Fisher’s squad.