ESPN GameDay analyst on A&M: 'This isn't a big game' for Clemson
|2018-09-07 16:24:43.0- -||
ESPN's College GameDay preview show is in College Station for the ACC-SEC matchup between No.2 Clemson and Texas A&M Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern (ESPN).
GameDay analyst David Pollack said Friday in a press availability that Clemson's recent paths to the College Football Playoff may very well work in the double-digit home underdog Aggies' favor.
"For Clemson, this isn't a big game for them. That's the problem," Pollack said. "They've shown you every year that they get a mulligan. They're good enough where they can still lose this game and go to the Playoff. I think that's one thing that (Texas A&M) has going for them. Clemson is the marked team for the Playoffs. Everybody will put Clemson and Alabama in the playoffs. Me included...I think A&M's expectations are not that.
"Now when you talk about wanting to beat the bully and everybody knows they're the favorite. Clemson lost last year to Syracuse - and to Pitt, and still played in the national title game...It means more to A&M I think."
That said, pulling off the upset will rest on a young quarterback sophomore Kellen Mond engineering plays against a highly-regarded Clemson defensive front.
"I think it would have to be low-scoring," Pollack said of the Aggies' path to victory. "Defensively (A&M) would have to play pretty well. I don't think (A&M) is going to consistently block that defensive line. I don't think anyone can. It will take Kellen Mond throwing downfield. We can talk as much as we want about blocking that front-four but they're going to have to take some shots and take advantage of some players (not in that front-four). Not named Bryant, Lawrence, Ferrell, Wilkins. They're all freaks.
"Getting the ball to (running back) Trayveon Williams in space - I think he's the most underrated running back in college football. Trayveon is awesome...It will take Kellen Mond throwing the ball well in the air, reading things and taking shots."
GameDay host Rece Davis also spoke on Friday and said A&M won't be intimidated by the tough competition.
"The one thing I think that gets a little bit overblown in some corners is - 'Oh, here comes Clemson,'" Davis said. "Clemson is a standard-bearer in our game for sure. Them and Alabama. They're the two. They are a championship, elite program, but the Aggies aren't exactly going to be scared to death. They see this. They play Alabama, they play Auburn, they play LSU. They know what a fearsome defensive front looks like. I know some of the offensive linemen are younger but they know...
"It will be a huge challenge. A&M would have to have a couple things go wrong (for Clemson) to win the game. It's certainly going to be a very competitive game and one that A&M fans will learn a lot about their team and their program from how they compete Saturday night."
Pollack says the pressure is on Clemson to come out with the win. Says they can still make the playoff with a loss. pic.twitter.com/Rl1vjZdiBj— TexAgs (@TexAgs) September 7, 2018
Rece Davis predicts that tomorrow’s game will be close. Says A&M won’t come into the game scared as they’ve seen similar opponents before. pic.twitter.com/3j8UCc2wVO— TexAgs (@TexAgs) September 7, 2018
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