Texas A&M will try to move on from last Sunday’s come-from-ahead loss on the road against UCLA when it hosts FCS foe Nicholls on Saturday night (7 ET, ESPNU).
The Aggies (0-1) will hope to take out some frustration on the Colonels, who clipped McNeese State, 37-35, on a field goal at the final horn in Week 1.
Five things you should know about this matchup:
1. The quarterbacks
Texas A&M hid the identity of its starting quarterback in the days leading up to the opener. Redshirt freshman Nick Starkel got the start. He completed 6 of 13 passes for 62 yards before suffering a broken left ankle in the second half — right before UCLA started mounting its rally.
Another freshman, Kellen Mond, was left to carry the load. He completed 3 of 17 passes for 27 yards while adding 54 on the ground.
This week, Kevin Sumlin is again playing things close to the vest, listing Mond and senior Jake Hubenak as co-starters on the depth chart, noting that both will play in Week 2.
2. Series history
This will be the first meeting between the teams.
3. The opening line
Texas A&M is a 40.5-point favorite on its home field. The over/under is 64.
4. Player to watch
While Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford had the rushing attack in high gear against UCLA, junior wide receiver Christian Kirk was largely held in check with 5 catches for 60 yards.
Some of that was due to unsteady quarterback play, but a game against what should be an overmatched FCS opponent might be just what he needs to get his season going.
5. What’s at stake
Losing a road game against UCLA is one thing. Blowing a 34-point lead in the third quarter is quite another.
The burner underneath Sumlin’s seat is on “high,” with a university regent taking to Facebook to call for the coach’s ouster. A win Saturday night won’t do much to quiet his critics, but getting back to Kyle Field and notching a victory is a must.
It would steady the ship a bit and make everyone feel a little better.