No. 5 Texas A&M finally makes first trip to Tennessee
No. 5 Texas A&M (7-1 SEC, No. 5 CFP) at Tennessee (3-6), Saturday at noon EST (ESPN).
Line: Texas A&M by 12 1/2.
Series record: Tennessee leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Texas A&M has a final chance to improve its resume before the final four teams are selected for the College Football Playoff, and a big win could help the Aggies if any of the teams ahead slip in a title game. Tennessee gets a last opportunity at a big victory that could tamp down coach Jeremy Pruitt’s critics in a game rescheduled from its original date of Nov. 14.
Senior QB Kellen Mond against the Tennessee defense. The Vols are giving up 264.1 yards passing, which is 11th in the SEC. Mond didn’t have to throw much in the Aggies’ past two games, but he has thrown for more than 300 yards twice this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller. He already has six 100-yard rushing performances this season, and Spiller ranks second in the SEC averaging 112.1 yards per game.
Tennessee QB Harrison Bailey. The freshman has started two straight for the Vols, and he has completed 71.8% of his passes for 318 yards with three TD passes. He completed his first 13 passes in last week’s win over Vanderbilt.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Aggies are making their first trip to Knoxville. ... The Aggies are off to their best start since 2016. ... Tennessee is a win away from 850 in school history, which would make the Vols the 10th FBS program to reach that mark. ... Pruitt was defensive coordinator for Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher when Florida State won the 2013 national title. Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham had the same job the last two seasons at Texas A&M. ... Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond has 90 career TDs and is three from tying the school record held by Johnny Manziel (93). ... Aggies TE Jalen Wydermyer leads all SEC tight ends with 40 catches this season, and he has at least two TDs in three of his last four games. ... Texas A&M is fifth nationally giving up 1/2 sack per game and only four for the season. ... Texas A&M leads the SEC in time of possession and ranks ninth nationally. ... This will be the fourth top five opponent Tennessee has played this season, making this the first time that the Vols have faced four such opponents. Those teams are a combined 32-5 this season. Tennessee’s strength of schedule is fifth-toughest in FBS. ... Tennessee snapped a six-game skid with a 42-17 win over Vanderbilt last week.
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