COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher knows Bo - Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix, that is - and is well aware that his bloodlines will make it a bit more of a challenge for his No. 15 Aggies when they host the No. 9 Tigers on Saturday in their SEC opener. Fisher was quarterbacks coach at Auburn when Nix's father, Patrick, was the starter in 1994 and 1995, and is well aware of what Bo Nix is capable as he plays his first road game at one of college football's most intimidating venues in Kyle Field.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texas A&M -3.5
"It doesn't help you athletically, but it does mentally and psychologically of how to deal with things, deal with situations and what happens and what to expect," Fisher told reporters about how Patrick - a coach at the collegiate and high-school levels since leaving Auburn - has mentored his son. Texas A&M junior quarterback Kellen Mond also will be under the spotlight as he faces a stingy Auburn defense led by senior defensive back Jeremiah Dinson, who paced the team in tackles in each of the first three games. "I feel really good, and what gives me a lot of confidence is how balanced we've been in both the run game and the pass game and being able to be versatile in a lot of different packages,'' Mond told reporters. "I think we'll mix up a lot of things this week, and we'll be ready." The Aggies' run defense allows only 83.7 yards per game but faces its biggest challenge in stopping sophomore running back JaTarvious Whitlow (341 yards, three touchdowns).
ABOUT AUBURN (3-0)
Whitlow has taken some pressure off Nix (52.4 percent completion rate, four touchdowns, two interceptions), who was 12-of-16 in last week's 55-16 victory over Kent State. Junior wide receiver Eli Stove (16 catches, 133 yards, two touchdowns - three total) has been Nix's favorite target while senior WR Will Hastings (seven, 124, one) also has been productive. Senior defensive end Marlon Davidson has registered a team-high 2.5 sacks after recording 9.5 in his first three seasons.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (2-1)
Mond has completed 64.9 percent of his passes with five touchdowns but has thrown an interception in each game. Junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon is Mond's top option with 17 catches for 253 yards and two scores. Senior defensive back Roney Elam has recorded the first two interceptions of his career this season and also boasts a sack.
1. Aggies junior WR Quartney Davis (11 catches, 144 yards, TD) will play after missing last week's 62-3 victory over FCS member Lamar because of back tightness.
2. Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller (two touchdowns) leads FBS true freshmen with 246 rushing yards.
3. Auburn is 3-0 at Kyle Field since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, including a 42-27 victory in 2017.
PREDICTION: Auburn 27, Texas A&M 20