COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 03: Texas A&M Aggies Head Coach Jimbo Fisher stands with teammates following their 31-0 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field on September 03, 2022 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Florida (4-4) vs. Texas A&M (3-5)
Game time: 11:00 a.m. CT
TV/radio: ESPN/SiriusXM 192
What’s at stake:
Bowl eligibility for Texas A&M. Yes, you read that right.
When the Aggies have the ball:
A productive and reliable offense has been absent for much of the 2022 season for head coach Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. For only the second time this year, A&M was able to score 28 points last week in the loss to No. 11 Ole Miss.
The irony? The Aggie offense was led by their third different starting quarterback under center this year – freshman Conner Weigman. Jimbo and his A&M squad will be looking to build off of some of the good they were able to accomplish last week, and the key will be tempo, tempo, tempo.
Weigman finished last week’s game against Ole Miss completing 28 of 44 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns. The maroon and white should be expected to come out with an aggressive style of offense and should prioritize getting the ball to WR Evan Stewart early.
When Florida has the ball:
The Gators come into Kyle Field this Saturday fresh off of a thumping by the defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs. Florida has seen sporadic play all season from their quarterback, Anthony Richardson.
Richardson widened eyes across the country with a highlight-reel play in Florida’s first game of the year against the No. 12 team at the time, Utah. Since that moment, the young quarterback has struggled to consistently lead the Gator offense – most noticeably in the red zone.
Things will not get any easier for the Florida offense on Saturday as they take on a Texas A&M pass defense that ranks first in SEC play (170 passing yards per game).
Key Aggies to watch:
QB Conner Weigman
Fresh off of his first collegiate start, Weigman will undoubtedly be looking to build on some good things the Aggie offense showed during the loss to Ole Miss last week. Jimbo and his freshman quarterback appeared to find the majority of their success moving the ball when going more up-tempo. That should be the plan on game day against the Florida Gators.
Weigman should lean on the playmaking abilities of running back Devon Achane early. Achane caught one of four touchdown passes from the freshman QB last week and Achane also rushed 25 times for 138 yards (5.5 yards per carry). Achane’s touches will be vital for Weigman, both through the air and on the ground.
WR Evan Stewart
The freshman receiver entered the 2022 season with some high expectations. Stewart is starting to live up to what was initially expected of him and leads all Aggie pass-catchers with 478 yards receiving. Just last week against Ole Miss, Stewart caught six passes for 88 yards which included a jaw-dropping one handed snag for a touchdown.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher and his freshman quarterback starting only his second game will undoubtedly have a game plan to get Evan Stewart going early. The freshman playmaker will need to make numerous contributions if A&M wants to avoid a five-game losing streak.
S Demani Richardson
Richardson could easily be referred to as, “the heartbeat,” of the Texas A&M defense. The senior safety out of Waxahachie, Texas has yet to snag an interception in 2022 despite having had at least one interception in each season played. Nonetheless, his impact has been felt by A&M opponents.
Richardson has forced two fumbles this season, and in one of the few bright spots for the Aggies in 2022, the senior returned a fumble to the end zone against Arkansas. Richardson has always had a nose for the ball and can often be found in the middle of your screen during any given game’s biggest moments.
The bottom line:
The 12th Man and Aggies everywhere are undoubtedly ready for this disastrous season to be over, but this week is all about an attempt to stop the bleeding for head coach Jimbo Fisher.
A&M enters Saturday’s matchup with the Florida Gators riding an undesirable four-game losing streak. If Jimbo and the Ags want to jump back in the win column, the name of the game will be winning the turnover battle.
Conner Weigman did not throw an interception against Ole Miss last week; he will need to replicate that protection of the football.
Texas A&M 41, Florida 20