ATHENS — No. 4 Georgia has locked up its spot in the SEC Championship game. For a third-straight season, the Bulldogs will be in Atlanta, playing the SEC West champion, which will likely be No. 1 LSU as the Tigers only need to beat lowly Arkansas on Saturday to clinch the SEC West.
But both LSU and Georgia have a significant road bump in their way as both schools have to host No. 24 Texas A&M. Georgia gets the first crack at the Aggies this Saturday, while LSU hosts them on Nov. 30.
Texas A&M enters the game with a 7-3 record. But those losses have come at Clemson, and home against Auburn and Alabama. The Aggies have beaten all the teams they should’ve, something Georgia cannot say for itself.
In the eyes of Kirby Smart, those defeats are all against top-10 teams.
“They have an immense amount of talent,” Smart said. “As far as their receiving corps will be one of the best we’ve played against. They have a total of eight or nine starters back on offense. Really, basically every position outside tight end and a running back is coming back for their team. And when you watch them on tape, it really jumps off the film at you.”
The Aggies are coached by Jimbo Fisher, one of the five active coaches to have won a national championship. They’re quarterbacked by Kellen Mond, a dual-threat weapon who will have an argument as the best quarterback Georgia will have faced to this point in the season.
“We have to contain him for sure. We know he can run and is a good quarterback,” Georgia outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari said. “We have to make sure we execute the game plan and make him one dimensional.”
Smart compared Mond’s growth under Fisher to that of Dak Prescott under Dan Mullen. On the season, Mond has thrown 18 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions while adding 7 rushing touchdowns and 400 yards on the ground.
The Texas A&M offense has also evolved since those three defeats. The Aggies have run for at least 200 yards in their last three games after combining to rush for only 234 rushing yards combined in the defeats to Clemson, Alabama and Auburn. And Texas A&M did just clobber the South Carolina team that beat Georgia in Athens earlier this season.
Smart made it very clear after beating Auburn that Georgia couldn’t coast to the finish line. That’s because of the Aggies, who Smart mentioned four times in his Saturday press conference. Consider it his “We’re on to Cincinnati,” moment.
Given that Georgia and LSU seem to be on a collision course for an SEC Championship game that will have serious College Football Playoff implications, it would be easy to look past the Aggies. But based off the comments made by Smart and his team, the Bulldogs looking ahead to facing the Tigers or thinking about where they’ll be spending Christmas.
They’re focused on beating a talented and well-coached football team in Sanford Stadium this Saturday.
“They’re a really talented football team that gets overlooked a little bit because you’ve got LSU, Alabama and Auburn in the West,” Georgia tight end Eli Wolf said. “I think people kind of overlook them a little bit, but they’re a really talented team. We can’t take them lightly or overlook them. We need to have a good week of practice.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart previews Texas A&M
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