Texas A&M may be 18-point underdogs for its trip to No. 1 Clemson this weekend, but one A&M player is confident in his team’s chances. Really confident.
Jared Hocker, a junior offensive lineman for the Aggies, told reporters Monday that he likes being an underdog because “you always have something to prove.” When a reporter followed up with, “Does that make [Clemson] ripe for an upset?” Hocker said it does.
“There will be an upset,” he said.
Texas A&M OL Jared Hocker said the No. 12 Aggies will beat No. 1 Clemson on Saturday: ‘There will be an upset’ pic.twitter.com/1PSpFYNL8G— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) September 2, 2019
Later Monday, A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher heard about Hocker’s comments and had a message for his starting left guard.
“Jared better play well,” Fisher said with a laugh, per The Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Fisher later added that while he appreciates the confidence, Hocker’s declaration did not “need to be said.”
A year ago, Texas A&M gave Clemson its best shot in front of a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. Clemson led 28-13 entering the fourth quarter, but the Aggies made things mighty interesting with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The second cut Clemson’s lead to 28-26 with under a minute to go, but the Tigers came up with an interception on what could have been the game-tying two-point try and held on to the victory.
This time, the Aggies will fly across the country to Death Valley where several Clemson players who had yet to take on big roles are now stars for the Tigers. That includes quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was still splitting time behind then-starter Kelly Bryant. Bryant played the majority of that game, but ended up transferring a few weeks later after Lawrence grabbed hold of the starting spot. Lawrence then led the Tigers to a national title.
Clemson dismantled Georgia Tech 52-14 on Thursday night to open the 2019 season. Texas A&M had a convincing win, too. The Aggies took care of Texas State, 41-7.
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