As SEC Media Days unfolds in Hoover, KSR is highlighting each of Kentucky’s 2018 conference foes. Of course, the following previews will be in the most ridiculous manner possible. Up first, Jimbo Fisher’s new-look Texas A&M.
The Best Thing Jimbo Fisher Said — It happened when Fisher was asked about playing Clemson and Alabama in the first month of the season.
“It’s great that we play those two teams, the top two ranked teams in the first four games of the year. I think great teams, it’s not that your opponent becomes faceless, it’s not that you disrespect them; it’s just that you understand how you want to prepare. I’m hoping that’s the way our kids go about it.”
The Best Thing Jimbo Fisher Said (Out of Context) — “You’re supposed to say howdy back.”
A&M’s Scariest Player — Linebacker Tyrel Dodson finished the SEC fifth in tackles a year ago with 105 (just over 8 a game), to be the No. 3 returning tackler in the conference. Dodson also had 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
For Kentucky to move the ball, they must first go through Dodson. Getting by the 6’2″ 245-pound brick you-know-what house who squats 675 pounds will not be easy, even for Benny Snell.
A&M’s Achilles Heel — The Aggies do not have consistency at the quarterback position. Last year Kevin Sumlin played two freshmen, runner Kellen Mond for eight games in place of injured pocket-passer Nick Starkel. They left plenty of room for more to be desired, which is why Jimbo signed James Foster, a dual-threat QB once recruited by Kentucky.
Starkel is the most likely candidate to win the quarterback competition, but it’s anyone’s guess where the QBs will stand after learning a new offense and experiencing Alabama and Clemson’s defense in the first month of the season.
Good News for UK — The Aggies will take a beating at the beginning of the season. The four weeks before Kentucky goes to College Station, this is what A&M’s schedule looks like:
- Louisiana Monroe
- at Alabama
- Arkansas at Jerry World in Dallas
Bad News for UK — The Aggies return 16 starters. After going through the gauntlet in the first six weeks of the season, Jimbo Fisher should have his team figured out in time for a must-win against a team coached by his former defensive coordinator.
Fear Factor — This isn’t about how well a team can choke down bugs while a crazy person screams at them. This is a sliding scale from 1-10, based on personnel, setting of the game, the coaching philosophy and how well they performed under the bright lights in Atlanta (even though that does not in any way, shape or form translate into on the field results).
FF — 6.78
This is a scary game primarily because the Cats have to play at Kyle Field. Even though A&M will probably beat up after a rough start to the season, they’ll also be hungry for a much-needed victory. Fisher has ample to find a competent quarterback, but at least Stoops knows his secrets.