HOOVER, Ala. — For Texas A&M offensive lineman Koda Martin, there’s something special about taking the field for home games in College Station, Texas.
“I love being apart of the Aggie network knowing that you’re about to go out there for the 12th man,” Martin said at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. “Some of the traditions that are there at A&M are ridiculous.”
Martin, who thinks his program boasts “the best college football atmosphere in the country,” still gets goosebumps thinking about the cheers he heard before his first-ever game at Kyle Field.
But when it comes to playing the Auburn Tigers, home field has been far from advantageous. Since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012 the visitors have stolen wins on the road. The most recent example, of course, was the Aggies’ 29-16 win in Jordan-Hare last season.
Auburn will have a week off before traveling to the Lone Star State on Nov. 4, but it will be an important game for two teams who are hoping to be sitting atop the SEC.
Until then, both teams, but especially A&M, will be trying to figure out how exactly to earn a victory at home.
“I really couldn’t pinpoint what it is,” wide receiver Christian Kirk said. “I just know that whenever you go on the road and play in atmospheres like that, whether they’re coming to Kyle Field or we’re going to Jordan-Hare, those are big time stadiums and big time atmospheres. When you’re on the road it’s everybody else versus you.”
Kirk anticipates the same type of setting as the Aggies attempt to take the first back-to-back wins since 2012.
“It’s you and your team and you’ve gotta come out and match that energy,” Kirk said. “It’s been a fun series to play, and I’m sure it will be just as fun this year. Hopefully we’ll get a win out of it.”
Martin admits it won’t be easy, especially since Auburn could start Jarrett Stidham, a one-time A&M recruit, at quarterback. But the preparation has already begun.
“They are at our house and we’ll be looking to break that streak,” Martin said. “You never know. Its’s the SEC. Anything can happen. Every team is great. Everybody’s putting in the work, but we’re doing the little things to try to set ourselves apart. Hopefully we come out on top. We’ll be getting after it.”