New Mexico at No. 23 Texas A&M, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Texas A&M by 38 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Texas A&M leads 5-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Aggies are looking to bounce back after a terrible 2022 season, where they finished with their worst record since going 4-8 in 2008, against a New Mexico team that dropped their final nine games last year. Coach Jimbo Fisher, who is entering his sixth season at Texas A&M, hired Bobby Petrino as his offensive coordinator to try to beef up an offense which ranked 101st in scoring with just 22.8 points a game last season and one that came in 93rd in total offense (360.9 yards per game). The Lobos will try and improve in the fourth season under coach Danny Gonzales after winning just seven games combined in his first three seasons.
Texas A&M WR Ainias Smith vs. the New Mexico secondary. Smith returns for a fifth season after breaking his right leg in the fourth game last season. He has 1,612 yards receiving with 17 touchdowns and 384 yards rushing in his career. Saturday he’ll lead Texas A&M’s passing game against a secondary that ranked 28th in the nation last season by allowing 202.8 yards passing a game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New Mexico: QB Dylan Hopkins. He joins the Lobos for a final season as a graduate transfer after four years at UAB. He’s appeared in 33 career games, piling up 4,750 yards passing with 31 touchdowns. Hopkins threw for 1,913 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games last season as the Blazers went 7-6.
Texas A&M: QB Conner Weigman. The sophomore was named starter for the opener Monday after vying with Max Johnson for the job throughout camp. Weigman threw for 896 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception in five games as a freshman after Johnson went down with a season-ending injury.
FACTS & FIGURES
This will be the fifth meeting in the series in College Station. … These teams first met in 1926 when A&M won 63-0 and the last meeting was a 34-0 win by the Aggies in 2021. … Fisher is 12-1 in his career in season openers with a 9-0 mark when starting the season at home. … Texas A&M forced 15 fumbles last season to lead the SEC and rank sixth in the nation.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll