The Texas A&M Aggies face only one FCS opponent in the 2022 season, and it’s one of the best in the division, as they open against the 2020 FCS national champion Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field.
Offensively, the Aggies will want to get the season off on the right foot, and to do so they’ll need to do these three specific things.
Generate explosive plays
The Aggies have been one of the least explosive offenses in the SEC over the last few seasons, and generating big plays, specifically in the passing game has been a struggle.
But this Aggies team should be different, the addition of freshman phenom wide receiver Evan Stewart, along with the elevation of Devon Achane into the primary running back role provide an element of speed and down field ability that the Aggies have been missing since Jimbo Fisher has been in Aggieland.
Combine those two guys with the ability of Ainias Smith, and add in the play making and running ability of Haynes King at quarterback, and you SHOULD have the recipe for an offense that can score quickly when they want to.
If they are going to be that team when the SEC slate starts in a few weeks, they are going to need to show the ability against a lower opponent like Sam Houston.
Win the line of scrimmage
There is quite a bit of turnover on the Aggies offensive line this year, Trey Zuhn takes over as the left tackle, and (likely) Aki Ogunbiyi steps in as the left guard, and we still don’t know exactly who the center will be, not to mention that there is a new coach, Steve Addazio, in charge of the unit.
But regardless of that turnover, the Aggies need to dominate the line of scrimmage against the Bearkats. Keeping the Haynes King clean, and opening lanes for Devon Achane and the rest of the ball carriers.
The Bearkats are replacing a ton of productive players on their defensive front in 2022, and the Aggies dominate the trenches on offense.
Protect the ball
Last year in the season opener against Kent State, Haynes King threw 3 interceptions, backup Zack Calzada threw another, and Ainias Smith muffed a punt.
It didn’t hurt them in that game, but if there is a recipe for Sam Houston State to win, it’s by generating takeaways and scoring points on defense and special teams.
If A&M can protect the football, the talent differential should win out, and the Aggies should be victorious.