Areas of concern for the Aggies heading into Saturday’s matchup against Sam Houston State

·4 min read

We are now only 2 days away from when Texas A&M finally kicks off their 2022 college football season against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at the always magical Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

Throughout the week, the writing team here at Aggies Wire has provided you with as much insight as possible in regards to the matchup this Saturday, ranging from the most notable storylines, observations, and the history between the two programs as they meet for the thirteenth time in their history. The Aggies are entering their week 1 matchup ranked in the top 10 in both the AP (6th) and USA Today (7th), and feel that they have a lot to prove after coming off of a disappointing 8-4 campaign, going 1-2 in their final three games.

From a roster perspective, the Aggies are deep on both sides of the ball, and after naming Haynes King as the starting quarterback earlier this week feel like they have eliminated any remaining question remarks going into the season. But as we all know, no team is perfect, and in order to truly gauge just how good, or flawed the Aggies will be this season, noting a few of their “areas of concern” ahead of their tilt with the Bearkats will hopefully prepare you for their Saturday afternoon kickoff.

Without further ado, here are a couple of areas of concern for Texas A&M going into the weekend:

The Left Side of the Offensive line 

This all starts with one of the most important positions on the offensive line, the left tackle spot, led by the young offensive tackle Trey Zuhn. He is entering the 2022 season as the presumed starter at the postion for the Aggies, tasked with protecting the blind side for starting quarterback Haynes King all season long. At left guard? well, until we receive an official depth chart before game time (A Jimbo Fisher tradition) the spot is still up in the air as of now, as redshirt sophomores Jordan Moko and Aki Ogunbiyi are battling it out, with Aki apparently leading the way after a strong fall camp showing. Whoever wins the coveted guard spot will be replacing the former Aggie great Kenyon Green’s instincts and consistency on the line, as the 2022 1st round selection is slated to as a starter in his first season for the Houston Texans.

With the center postion being one of the immense strengths on the o-line as sophomore Bryce Foster and redshirt freshman Matthew Wykoff are both highly capable of starting at the spot, the right guard postion is manned by Preseason All-American Layden Robinson, while sophomore Reuben Fatheree is back to man the starting right tackle postion.

Haynes King and the Wide receivers

There’s a reason I’m not mentioning any part of the defense within my general concerns leading into Saturday, and most of that has to do with the trust I have in new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, and defensive leaders Demani Richardson, Antonio Johnson, and Myles Jones to lead the way every week. So, going back to the offense my last concern has to do with quarterback Haynes King’s connections with his wide receivers in the passing game, an area that Texas A&M has shown issues in since the departure of Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans departed for the NFL over eight seasons ago.

The key words here are relationship and consistency, and it does help to know that senior Ainias Smith is back in his always reliable slot position, which should help in moving the chains on a consistent basis, paired with experienced junior receiver Chase Lane at the Z receiver position. But as Jimbo Fisher yearns for more explosion on offense, Haynes King will need to show that he can take advantage of the speed and athleticism on the outside, especially with true freshman 5-star recruit Evan Stewart poised to start at the X receiver spot, while fellow freshman Chris Marshall and Noah Thomas both look to play key roles off the bench, and are immediate deep threats as soon as the touch the field. Haynes King has more than enough to work with offensively, so there aren’t many excuses left if the offense fails to move the ball at an explosive rate. Game on young man.

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5 things Aggie fans should know heading into Saturday's matchup vs. Sam Houston State

Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire