Texas A&M football will have a big day through the air
Even without top targets Evan Stewart and Noah Thomas against ULM, the Aggies still lit it up in the passing game, with Jahdae Walker and Ainias Smith stepping up for Texas A&M football in their stead. Now, all four will be available. Auburn does have a good corner in Jaylin Simpson, but even if he tracks top threat Evan Stewart all over the field and locks him down—a dubious proposition, at best—you have to think one of the other three would be open on any given play. The savvy vet in Ainias Smith has been running free against more than one elite secondary in his time with the Aggies, and the pure size and speed of Thomas and Walker present matchup problems that Auburn just can’t deal with.
Add to this that Auburn is dealing with some injuries, especially on the back end of their defense, and the prospect for another huge day for Weigman and company starts to look brighter and brighter. I think Conner may have some extra motivation for this game, as well. The Auburn game last year was by far the worst performance we’ve seen out of him as a starting quarterback, so I think he may take it on himself to make up for last year’s slog of a game (even so, by the way, go watch the touchdown pass he lasers in on the last offensive play of last year’s game for the Aggies—it’s elite stuff).
Auburn will run man-to-man as long as they can against the Aggies, with Asante and company trying to contain things up front and underneath. These receivers in tandem with Petrino’s scheme, however, have shown how easily they can get open against coverages like this (though the Auburn DBs are better than New Mexico’s, of course), and Weigman’s ball placement on those man-coverage-beating routes has been spectacular. Early returns may have the Tigers reconsidering their defensive approach tomorrow.