2022 Texas A&M Aggies Preview

by Matt Fargo

Texas A&M Aggies

2021-22 Season Record 8-4 (4-4 SEC West) - 7-5-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 7
Defense - 5

Overview

Good things are happening at Texas A&M where head coach Jimbo Fisher has firmly put his plan into place in the program and has compiled a 34-14 record in his first four seasons with the best yet to come, or at least that is the hope. It was supposed to start last season as the Aggies were the preseason No. 6 team in the country and crept up to No. 5 before opening 0-2 in the SEC. Instead of folding, they went out and defeated Alabama, as a new heated rivalry is being born, which sparked a four-game winning streak but losing the final two conference games left them out of the final top 25 poll. Only 12 starters are back but the Aggies are getting a lot of help via the transfer portal and they brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country amid controversy from Nick Saban of course so this should be the start of great things as long as they can navigate a tough schedule.

Offense

The offense was very inconsistent last season, scoring 34 or more points six times but putting up 24 or fewer points in the other six games including a pair of 10 spots. The Aggies finished No. 71 in total offense and No. 60 in scoring offense as the passing offense could never get going behind Zach Calzada but they are in a good position this year. Quarterback Max Johnson transfers in from LSU where he was great last season, passing for 2,815 yards with 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions while Haynes King, who opened last season as the starter before getting hurt in the second game, is back fully healthy so there is a good battle. The receiving corps needs to break out as they are loaded with speed but still young. Leading rusher Isaiah Spiller is gone but Devon Achane ran for 910 yards and nine touchdowns and will be behind a strong and experienced offensive line.

Defense

Strong defense has been the steady force for Texas A&M and last year was no exception as it finished No. 20 in total defense and No. 3 in scoring defense but there are just five starters back that has a No. 91 returning production ranking. The defensive line took the biggest hit but it also has the biggest promise as this is where the majority of the top recruits are stationed and they will be thrown right into the proverbial fire to keep the unit afloat. The veteran linebackers will ease some of that transition as Edgerrin Cooper and Andre White, Jr. combined for 115 tackles and need to get more involved in the pass rush that loses 17 sacks from DeMarvin Leal and Tyree Johnson, both of which are with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The secondary is also loaded with prized recruits but nickel back Antonio Johnson and safety Demani Richardson headline the group after 144 combined tackles.

2022 Season Outlook

Bringing in the best recruiting class in the history of the program is a massive haul but it has to live up to expectations which starts right away. The Aggies are ranked No. 7 in the preseason coaches poll with Alabama and Georgia joining them from the SEC inside that ranking so hopes are high in College Station for the plan to take effect immediately. The nonconference schedule provides a good test early in the season as Texas A&M welcomes Sam Houston, the No. 1 seed in the FCS playoffs last year, Appalachian St. and Miami Fla. before the schedule really ramps up. Four consecutive games away from home are up next with a neutral game against Arkansas and road games at Mississippi St., Alabama and South Carolina before four of the final five games being at home. The O/U win total is set at 8.5 and there are a ton of early roadblocks that can prevent them getting to that number.  

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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