Jimbo Fisher has seen Alabama and Clemson up close this season, and the Texas A&M head coach said film study indicates Georgia to be just as good as either.
“As you watch the film, (Georgia is) as sound of an opponent as we’ll play, and have played, they are solid in all three phases,” Fisher said at his press conference on Monday.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1 SEC) play host to the No. 24-ranked Aggies (7-3, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
Both teams have won four consecutive games entering their meeting, Texas A&M’s first at Georgia since joining the SEC in 2012.
The Aggies losses this season came at then-No. 1 Clemson on Sept. 7 (24-10), at home on Sept. 21 to a then-No. 8 Auburn (28-20) and on Oct. 12 at home to then-No. 1 Alabama (47-28).
Fisher said he is hopeful his team has prepared properly for another Top 10 team at Georgia.
“You don’t win because you want to, you win because you train to, and how you train and how you practice, because those things keep coming out,” Fisher said. “How you train daily is who you are, (and) experience is the other thing.
“We have experience with some tough situations we’ve been in and some teams we’ve played, so hopefully that will help us here.”
Fisher said he knows he’ll have his hands full matching wits with Kirby Smart, who he coached with on Nick Saban’s LSU staff in 2004.
“They will pressure you, Kirby is an aggressive guy, he’s a great football coach, I’ve coached with him, he’s been around Nick (Saban), and he has his own way of doing things,” Fisher said. “They will pressure you with ‘backers, inside blitzes, double-edge blitzes, corners and Will (weakside) backers and safeties on that side or front side, inside twist, blitzes.
“They’ll bring it from all angles and are very exotic on third downs, too.”
Offensively, Fisher sees the same thing in Georgia that everyone does.
“Georgia, first and foremost, is going to run the football,” Fisher said. “Tremendous offensive line, tremendous backs and tight ends, that’s their forte, that’s their identity.
“You’re never going to shut them down, but you have to be able to play it and match their physicality and toughness, and that will be a huge challenge for our defense.”
Fisher’s Aggies play at LSU in the final game of the season, putting them in position to play College Football Playoff spoiler like no other program.
But that’s not how Texas A&M’s $75 million coach views it.
“We want to affect the outcome of our own program and how we play and what we get out of it,” said Fisher, whose 10-year contract is fully guaranteed. “Hopefully we’ve learned from the games earlier in the year of how to approach those games and understand the level of ball you have to play at consistently.
“We’ve played well this last month, and we can keep November rolling and play good football.”
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