Aggies look to end road woes at Ole Miss: Cowboys, Eagles meet in key NFC East contest in Philly

It’s been another tough year for Texas A&M Aggie fans. Another season that started with so much optimism has once again devolved into disappointment and head coach Jimbo Fisher’s coaching future could be in doubt in College Station.

There are a couple of things going in Fisher’s favor. One, it would cost A&M $77 million to buyout his contract and he has recruited well over the last two seasons bringing in a load of young talent. Those youngsters should only get better with time. But Fisher was hired to contend with Alabama and LSU in the SEC West. The Aggies have not come close to winning their division, let alone the entire conference in his six years on the job.

A&M has had trouble winning on the road. This year, they have lost at Miami, Alabama and at Tennessee and this Saturday they face a dangerous Mississippi Rebels team in Oxford.

The Aggies have been decimated by some key injuries this year, most notably starting quarterback Conner Weigman. Backup Max Johnson has filled in well, but he’s no Weigman.

Perhaps Fisher can rally the troops this weekend and pick up a much-needed road victory.

Other key games on the college landscape have No. 15- ranked LSU visiting No. 9- ranked Alabama in a key SEC West contest. A win by Nick Saban’s team could pretty much wrap up the SEC West, while a win by Brian Kelly’s team will tie things up in the division. Both teams had an extra week to prepare for this one.

No. 14-ranked Notre Dame visits a disappointing Clemson team that has already lost three games. Like Fisher, Dabo Swiney’s seat could also be getting hot. A team that was expected to contend for the ACC title and perhaps a spot in the College Football Playoffs (CFP) is now playing for a midrange bowl game. The folks at Clemson expect more.

A win on the road for Marcus Freeman’s team could get them into the CFP conversation. ND has played a tough schedule and owns wins over USC, and Duke.

In the NFL, the spotlight will be on the NFC East when the Cowboys visit the Eagles in a key division contest. The Texans host Tampa Bay looking for their second home win, while Tennessee and Pittsburgh kick off Week 9 on Thursday Night. Football. Two weeks ago, the Steelers improved to 4-2 with a big road win over the Rams, while the Titans had the week off. Miami and Kansas City meet in Germany and Sunday Night Football has a good one as the Bills visit the Bengals in a rematch of last year’s divisional playoff game which was won by the Bengals in Buffalo.

In high school action, the final week of the District 14-6A season is on tap as Aldine will take on Westfield, Eisenhower faces off against Spring, Davis and MacArthur tangle and Nimitz faces Dekaney in an important league game for both teams.

Before we take a look at this weekend’s schedule, let’s review last week’s record. Another 10-2 week upped the season record to 54-32 (63%).

Now, onto this weekend’s games.


Aldine vs. Westfield: Cirilio Ojedga’s Mustangs face off against district leader Westfield on Thursday night at George Stadium. Two weeks ago, Aldine fell to Nimitz, while Westfield defeated MacArthur. Westfield is led by running back Taj Atkins (842 yards, 14 TDs), while Aldine is led by running back Charles Taylor (305 yards). My pick, Westfield 36, Aldine 18

Eisenhower at Spring: Odell James’ Eagles take on Spring on Thursday night at Planet Ford Stadium. Two weeks ago, the Eagles lost a tough one to Davis, 32-31, while Spring defeated Dekaney 21-7. Spring is led by running backs Ahran Ogbar (651 rushing yards, 10 TDs/482 passing yards, 5 TDs) and Delonte Henderson (571 yards, 7 TDs). The Eagles are led by QB Jared Guter (656 yards, 5 TDs), and wide receiver Ulysses Thibodeaux (13 receptions, 180 yards). My pick, Spring 26, Eisenhower 24

Davis vs. MacArthur: Kelvin Chatman’s Falcons take on Wayne Crawford’s Generals on Friday night at George Stadium in Spring ISD. Two weeks ago, Davis defeated Eisenhower, 32- 31, while MacArthur fell to Westfield. Davis is led by QB Kamryn Jackson (1,303 yards, 13 TDs/218 rushing yards, while MacArthur is led by Derrick McNeil (81 yards, 1 TD). My pick, Davis 24, MacArthur 13

Nimitz at Dekaney: Cornelius Harmon’s Cougars take on Dekaney on Friday night at Planet Ford Stadium in an important game for both teams. Nimitz should have a playoff spot wrapped up entering this game, but could improve its seeding. Nimitz is led by QB Albert Brown (1,495 yards, 15 TDs), running back Bashard Miles (334 yards) and wide receivers Ke’lyn Wasom (41 receptions, 573 yards, 10 TDs) and Malachi Augustus (29 receptions, 521 yards, 7 TDs). Dekaney is led by running back Dylan Jones (823 yards, 12 TDs) and QB Quenten Foster (656 yards, 5 TDs). My pick, Nimitz 31, Spring 29


Texas A&M at Mississippi: The Aggies travel to Oxford, MS to take on the explosive Rebels. A&M has had trouble winning in Oxford and it won’t be any easier this time around when the Aggies take on an explosive Ole Miss offense. The Rebs has a solid dual-threat QB in Jaxon Dart (1,840 passing yards, 13 TDs/346 rushing yards, 6 TDs) and one of the best running backs in the nation in Quinshon Judkins (567 yards, 7 TDs). They have two big-play wide receivers in Jordan Watkins (36 receptions, 536 yards, 2 TDs) and Tre Harris (21 receptions, 469 yards, 6 TDs). The A&M defense had better come ready to play. It would help if Johnson (898 yards, 8 TDs) and the rest of the offense come through on Saturday. The Ags will need a big day from running backs Le’Veon Moss (387 yards, 3 TDs) and Amari Daniels (287 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receivers Ainias Smith (27 receptions, 451 yards) and Evan Stewart (31 receptions, 451 yards, 4 TDs). I’m going out on a limb here and saying Fisher’s team earns its biggest win of the season on Saturday. My pick, Texas A&M 31, Mississippi 27

Notre Dame at Clemson: This is a dangerous one for the Irish. They are playing in a hostile environment against a team that is going to be trying to save its season come Saturday. The Irish have a balanced offense led by QB Sam Hartman (1,838 yards, 18 TDs), running back Audric Estime (787 yards, 9 TDs), wide receiver Chris Tyree (16 receptions, 355 yards, 3 TDs) and tight end Mitchell Evans (24 receptions, 356 yards, 1 TD). Clemson is led by QB Cade Klubnik (1,684 yards, 13 TDs), running back Will Shipley (494 yards, 3 TDs) and wide receiver Tyler Brown (28 receptions, 389 yards, 2 TDs). Look for the ND defense to be the difference maker in this one as it forces a key turnover or two from Klubnik. My pick, Notre Dame 30, Clemson 23

LSU at Alabama: A good one in the SEC West pits the Tigers against the Crimson Tide. LSU already has one conference loss and can’t afford another, but they are taking on a ‘Bama team that seems to be hitting its stride. Two weeks ago, the Crimson Tide trailed Tennessee 20-7 at the half and outscored them 27-0 in the second half on the way to a 34- 20 victory. QB Jalin Milroe (1,617 yards, 12 TDs) is taking what defenses will give him and he needs to do a good job of managing the offense when he faces a very fast and quick Tiger defense. Running back Jase McClellan (569 yards, 4 TDs) and wide receiver Jermaine Burton (23 receptions, 508 yards, 5 TDs) both need big games on Saturday. LSU will lean on dual-threat QB Jayden Daniels (2,574 passing yards, 25 TDs/521 rushing yards, 5 TDs), running back Logan Diggs (611 yards, 6 TDs) and big-play wideouts Malik Nabors (56 receptions, 981 yards, 9 TDs) and Brian Thomas (42 receptions, 732 yards, 11 TDs). This will be a tough test for the Alabama defense, but with two weeks to get ready for this one, I’m sure Saban will have something special for the Tigers come Saturday. My pick, Alabama 32, LSU 26


Tennessee at Pittsburgh: Week 9 begins with Thursday Night Football as the Titans visit the Steelers. The Steelers won four of their first six games thanks to a conservative offense and a tough defense. The Titans have had a rough start to the season. QB Ryan Tanehill (1,128 yards, 2 TDs) needs to step up his game. The Titans will once again rely on Derrick Henry (425 yards, 3 TDs). He should find it tough going against a Pittsburgh defense that has 19 sacks, led by T.J. Watt with eight. The offense isn’t explosive, but QB Kenny Pickett (1,257 yards, 5 TDs) takes what defenses are willing to give him. Look for running back Najee Harris (300 yards, 1 TD) and wideout George Pickens (27 receptions, 500 yards, 2 TDS) to get it going against the Titans. My pick, Pittsburgh 26, Tennessee 14

Miami vs. Kansas City: The good people of Frankfurt, German will get a treat when they get to host the Dolphins and the Chiefs on Sunday in what should be an offensive shootout. Two weeks ago, Tua Tagovailoa (2,092 yards, 15 TDs) and the Dolphins lost at Philly, 31-17, while the Chiefs won their sixth straight game with a 31-17 home win over the Chargers. Miami will need big games from running back Raheem Mostert (474 yards, 11 total TDs) and wide receiver Tyreek Hill (53 receptions, 902 yards, 7 TDs). Hill will be facing his former team this weekend, which should be plenty of motivation for the speedy wide receiver. Look for Patrick Mahomes (2,017 yards, 15 TDs), running back Isiah Pacheco (419 yards, 3 TDs) and tight end Travis Kelce (48 receptions, 525 yards, 4 TDs) to have big days against a suspect Miami defense. My pick, Kansas City 34, Miami 30

Tampa Bay at Houston: The Texans return home for the first time since Oct. 15 when they host the Bucs. Look for C.J. Stroud (1,660 yards, 9 TDS) and wide receivers Nico Collins (29 receptions, 547 yards, 3 TDs) and Tank Dell (19 receptions, 324 yards, 2 TDs) to make plays early to set up running back Dameon Pierce to wear down the Bucs defense in the second half. Look for the Houston defense to get after turnoverprone Baker Mayfield as the Texans continue their winning ways and should be considered legitimate playoff contenders. My pick, Houston 23, Tampa Bay 16

Dallas at Philadelphia: The Cowboys visit the City of Brotherly Love to take on an Eagles team that will be looking to make some separation between themselves and Dallas in the NFC East race. Dallas must get a solid game from QB Dak Prescott (1,333 yards, 6 TDs) or it could be a long day for the Pokes. The offensive line will have its hands full against a Philly defense that recorded 24 sacks in their first six games. Dallas needs to get the running game going with Tony Pollard (370 yards, 2 TDs) and some big plays downfield from wideout CeeDee Lamb (34 receptions, 475 yards, 1 TD). The Dallas defense, which had 16 sacks in its first six games, will have its hands full with dualthreat QB Jalen Hurts (1,821 passing yards, 9 TDs/274 rushing yards, 6 TDs), running back D’Andre Swift (514 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receivers A.J. Brown (52 receptions, 809 yards, 3 TDs) and Devonta Smith (32 receptions, 383 yards, 2 TDs). Dallas will once against struggle at Philly. My pick, Philadelphia 26, Dallas 23

Buffalo at Cincinnati: A good one for the Sunday Night Football crew has the Bills visiting the Bengals looking to avenge last year’s 27-10 home playoff loss. The Bills have been so-so this year, winning four of their first seven games. Two weeks ago, they lost to a then one-win New England team, 29- 25. QB Josh Allen (1,841 yards, 15 TDs/148 rushing yards, 1 TD) needs to make more plays to Stefon Diggs (55 receptions, 678 yards, 6 TDs) and should be able to do so against an average Cinci defense. After losing two of their first three games, the Bengals won two straight heading into their bye week. QB Joe Burrow (1,230 yards, 7 TDs) appears to be finding his groove. He’ll need running back Joe Mixon (366 yards, 1 TD) and wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase (50 receptions, 556 yards, 3 TDs) and Tyler Boyd (30 receptions, 203 yards, 1 TD) to have big days against a beat up Buffalo defense. My pick, Cincinnati 26, Buffalo 21