- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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GigEmNation writer Sam Khan Jr. chatted with readers on Friday about Texas A&M football and recruiting. Here's the full transcript of the chat. The Aggies have a showdown with No. 1 Alabama on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Here's a sampling from the chat:
Josh (DFW): Chances the Ags pull off the upset tomorrow? If they play all out for all four quarters (especially the D), keep their foot on the gas, and play relatively mistake-free football, I like their chances.
Sam Khan Jr.: The key term in your prediction is "mistake-free." That's what they have to be. They could have beaten LSU if not for the turnovers. In some instances, LSU had something to do with that, but there were also some unforced errors by the Aggies. I think they have a decent chance. If I was putting an arbitrary number on it, I'd say 35 percent. They have to be able to run the football, hit some pass plays downfield and not turn it over. On the flip side, they'll have to be like they have been all year on third down and get off the field and that means that defensive front is going to have to shoot the gaps and not let the Alabama O-line dominate. But I wouldn't rule out their chances. The Aggies are a pretty good team.
Evan (CS): Outside of Johnny, who will need to have a big game for the Ags to pull off the upset?
Sam Khan Jr.: I think the interior offensive linemen: Patrick Lewis, Jarvis Harrison and Cedric Ogbuehi. The Aggies have to be able to run the ball to keep the Crimson Tide honest. They don't have to be great and run for 200 yards necessarily, but enough to where they can move the chains and keep the offense going. The Tide defensive line is big and strong and it's going to be up to those guys to win some battles up front and help find some running room for Ben Malena and Christine Michael.
Rene (College Station): Why doesn't Johnny get more run in the Heisman talk? He is the most exciting player in the country and is putting up stats better than most of the other competition in the SEC no less.
Sam Khan Jr.: Raif, probably because he doesn't have a signature win yet. He has some great plays and some amazing statistics but against the Aggies' two toughest opponents (Florida and LSU) that didn't happen and the team lost both games. Wins, and more importantly signature wins, matter. The way he can get more run is to beat Alabama this week and have a good game in the process. If that were to happen, he'd probably be at or near the top of the conversation.
Garett (Houston): How many big-time recruits do you think we can convince to come to Aggieland if we win tomorrow?
Sam Khan Jr.: Garett, I don't think recruits necessarily make decisions based on a team winning or losing a single game. That being said, an A&M win would go a long way in changing the way the public (recruits included) perceive the Aggies. It would send a message that they're immediate contenders now and potential SEC champions in years to come. That would be huge in recruiting.
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