The last time Texas A&M faced Alabama, the Aggies fell victim to a 59-0 beatdown by the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
“We felt like a high school team playing a college team,” said quarterback Kyle Allen said, according to TexAgs’ Billy Liucci.
Defensive end Myles Garrett said the team doesn’t like to talk about the blowout loss from a year ago.
“It’s in the back of our minds,” Garrett said. “It gives us a little bit of motivation.”
Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said the Aggies, ranked No. 10 to start the season, are now a completely different team.
“We talked about physical and mental strength,” Spavital said. “We put that approach in the offseason and you can see that progressing throughout the year. … Mentally and physically, we’re light years ahead of where we were last year at this point.”
The Aggies also didn’t have wide receiver Christian Kirk making plays on offense and special teams last year. The true freshman already has nine receptions of at least 25 yards and his 958 all-purpose yards rank second in the SEC.
Despite his age and lack of experience, Spavital said Kirk should have no problems shining in the spotlight. Kirk scored two touchdowns – one on a 79-yard punt return and another on a 66-yard touchdown catch – in a nationally-televised Week 1 game against Arizona State, an opponent from his home state.
“I think he’s shown that he’ll rise to the occasion regardless of the spotlight,” Spavital said. “I don’t think he’ll change anything [against Alabama].”
Garrett spoke on behalf of the defensive side, that it’s approaching Saturday’s rematch against the No. 10 Crimson Tide with a lot more confidence and intensity.
“We’re 5-0, undefeated,” Garrett said. “We remember what happened last year. That’s just a chip on our shoulder. The defense has revamped on the defensive line and linebacker’s [position].”
Even defensive coordinator John Chavis, who the Aggies hired to begin the season, couldn’t help but admit that he was also excited about facing Alabama.
“You have a chance to face one of the best teams in the league,” Chavis said, “If that doesn’t get you excited as a player or coach, there’s something wrong.
Texas A&M freshman Christian Kirk leads SEC with 9 Rec of at least 25 yds & his 958 all-purpose yds are 2nd in SEC. pic.twitter.com/qUSpFEq4iA
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 12, 2015