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What's At Stake For The Aggies Against Alabama In Week 6?

By Cole Thompson,


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Now things get interesting.

Things were intriguing leaving the $100 million house Jerry Jones built.

Now, Week 6 in College Station is a must-watch.

Texas A&M's 33-22 win over Arkansas at AT&T Stadium certainly eased tensions on whether the program would unravel following Conner Weigman's season-ending injury.

It without question quieted the doubters who thought the Week 2 defensive performance against Miami was a blunder, not a constant.

But Saturday's victory in Jerry World was only one-third of the recipe that makes A&M's early-October showdown at Kyle Field against No. 11 Alabama perhaps the game of the regular season.

Ole Miss pounced at the opportunity to hand LSU its second loss of the season in Oxford to light the match. Less than 100 miles south, the Crimson Tide took care of Mississippi State to clean sweep the Magnolia State and ignite the flame.

The Rebels have one loss, but it comes at the hands — or legs — of Jalen Milroe and the Crimson Tide. Alabama and A&M are both 4-1, but neither has come to a conference foe.

So, a win does fit the SEC slogan of "It Just Means More." It's for first place in the SEC West. And depending on how one looks at the conference, it could decide who heads to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in early December.

"We got a very good opponent next week in Alabama," Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said following Saturday's win.

Fisher's not wrong—Alabama's good at football.

No, really. The version of the Crimson Tide that entered halftime tied 3-3 against South Florida was left inside the locker room of Raymond James Stadium. And Milroe is no Bryce Young or Tua Tagoviloa, but A&M knows his game.

Milroe started and won last season in Tuscaloosa. His numbers were acceptable —a modest 111 yards for three TDs — but it was his ability to keep drives alive and out of A&M's hand that notched the win. The Aggies fought and lost.

It hurt, knowing two yards could have changed the season outlook. Really any victory of the six consecutive losses that led to a 5-7 finish would have sufficed.

One win and things drastically could have been different.

But change was needed. Fisher relinquishing the play-calling has led to an 81-point standing differential in scoring. The passing attack has taken a new level and the defense has turned the corner since being blown away by the Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium.

A battle of the best in the SEC West? It's early, but maybe? Why not if you're being honest?

Johnson's three-turnover day was a concern. So were the drops from several receivers. The good news? Players understand that an adjustment here and a quick fix there could lead to even better results.

We should have put up a lot more points than we did," said Johnson. "The defense played unbelievable. They shut them down. And I think our guys are going to be excited going into next week's practice."

"If we did what we needed to do on offense, like, the sky's the limit. That's how I look at it," echoed Ainias Smith.

Milroe doesn't possess Hogs' passer KJ Jefferson's size, but he's fast. Very fast. He makes fast guys not look fast, or whatever that guy from "The Longest Yard" says.

One quick zip and it's off to the races. A&M could contain that like it did last season at Bryant-Denny Stadium, especially a year older and more refined in the trenches.

And if the Aggies maintain Milore like that Brunt Orange program across the state, a win isn't possible. It's likely probable.

Could an SEC title be next?

A&M hasn't played a perfect game yet. The offense looks great one day and the defense falls flat. The following week, a ton of three-and-outs on offense, but a stout outing from D.J. Durkin's gang.

Yes, A&M needs to take it a game at a time. It needs to focus on Saturday and not Atlanta. Attention certainly can't be on a trip to Houston.

But another win at Kyle Field over Nick Saban? A win that gives the Aggies sole ownership as the program to beat in the SEC West?

Now things get interesting.

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