1. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond was heavily recruited by Auburn before choosing the Aggies. Mond has been up and down this season, and was replaced late in the Mississippi State game by Nick Starkel. Who are the Aggies starting at quarterback this weekend vs. Auburn?
Kevin Sumlin made it clear at his Tuesday press conference that Kellen Mond will be the starter this weekend against Auburn despite leaving early last week. He left after a roughing the passer penalty that Sumlin felt looked odd. Mond had shown steps forward in his progression each week before stumbling last Saturday, but the move shows that Sumlin is confident in his freshman quarterback. With Starkel creating offensive production, especially in the passing game, during a short stint under-center though, I would not be surprised if Mond has a shorter leash in the event he struggles early against the Tigers.
2. Christian Kirk gains a lot of attention as a playmaker for A&M, who are some playmakers alongside Kirk that Auburn needs to look out for?
A&M's running back Trayveon Williams is the team's leading rusher and can explode for long runs, as he did against Auburn last season. In the past three games though, the Aggies have been held to under 100 rushing yards, a mark that has frustrated Williams and powerback Keith Ford. Still, the tandem has shown this year they can bruise opposing defenses, and are both eager to pick up their production.
3. The Aggies' defense struggled last weekend against Mississippi State, what question marks is the defense facing heading into this weekend?
Honestly, A&M's defense did not do as bad as some may think against Mississippi State. What killed the Aggies were a handful of big plays, the Bulldogs starting in Aggie territory and State's success on third down. Allowing big plays have been an issue this season, so staying true to assignments and reads will be key against the Tigers, whose offense cannot be allowed to have success downfield if the Aggies want to win.
4. Kevin Sumlin's seat got a bit warmer after the 21-point loss to Mississippi State, what does Sumlin's future in College Station look like as the calendar flips to November?
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November is traditionally the month the Aggies have fallen off a cliff the past three seasons, and this year is not much easier. In order to change old habits, A&M will have to do something it has not done before under Sumlin: beat Auburn at home, or simply beat LSU. If the Aggies can do both, Sumlin is safe, win one and things get dicey, lose both and A&M will likely be searching for a new coach come December. The odds are against him, but A&M has shown immense resiliency at times this season.
5. What can Auburn fans expect when they visit College Station?
I have been to Auburn several times myself, and I along with other Aggies feel it is like College Station, but half the size. It is a classic college town and will make Auburn fans feel at home. Aggies are known for their hospitality, so please feel welcome and enjoy your trip to College Station.
6. Score prediction?
After last week's loss to State, the Aggies have many questions to answer, particularly on offense. A&M needs to play a near-perfect game to upset the Tigers, but I feel that Auburn will be too much. Auburn 38, Texas A&M 27.
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