AF: Y'all's old boy Kliff went out of his way to guarantee Arkansas is going to get their "ass kicked" against A&M. Do you appreciate his support, or do you wish he'd not drag A&M into it?
GBH: Well, to be fair to ol’ Kliff, he hedged – he said we’d "probably" kick your ass. I love that he dragged us into the deal because I think that stuff makes college football fun. There are a lot of layers to this onion. We hate Texas Tech, but we love Kliff Kingsbury (especially beloved by the Good Bull Hunting crew). Aggies are supposed to blindly support all things SEC – especially in relation to the Big 12 – but this was amusing stuff from our cool older bro ex-coach who guided Johnny Manziel to a Heisman Trophy.
As you’ve probably heard, Texans are super serious about their high school football, so once it was aired out that Bert was bad mouthing the spread – the offense that literally 95% of high school offenses here run – people wanted to pile on.
AF: Do you guys still like playing in Dallas or would you rather go back to playing on campuses?
GBH: Oh man. Campuses. I hate neutral site games. I love College Station and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Fayetteville the times I’ve been. Regular season college football has no business in sterile, money-sucking corporate monstrosities. That typed, I fully realize the reasons Arkansas wants to keep the game in Arlington. I just wish A&M brass would stop signing the extensions.
AF: How's John Chavis doing as your d-coordinator so far?
I’d give him an A. He had a big mess to clean up. He’s simplified things and brought back aggression and instinct. Things are far from perfect, but the mindset and culture has changed dramatically for the better on that side of the ball. Shit’s about to get real though. I still am not sold that we have even a mediocre run defense. Obviously in this league, if you want to accomplish anything, that’s important. Thankfully, the opponents’ quarterback play this year is pretty average. Our young guys get to ease into things.
AF: A lot of people, including myself, are thoroughly surprised by how good the Aggies have looked through the first few games. Are they playing above the expectations of the fan base for the season so far?
GBH: I think everyone was surprised by how dominant the Ags looked against Arizona State. A lot of the season’s expectations were going to hinge on that game. The defense was fast and mean. We got a massive performance from WR Christian Kirk in his first college game.
Now, since then, Arizona State has looked awfully pedestrian. No matter though. Aggie fans are crazy and expectations are hyperbolic. Coming into the season, I thought the three games that would be most revealing of the state of the Texas A&M football program would be Arizona State, Arkansas, and Alabama. I know y’all have struggled, but I still think Saturday is going to be telling.
GBH: 38-18 A&M. I think Kyle Allen and running back Tra Carson will have big days for A&M. I think Sumlin is going to identify the flaws in the Hog D and push down the gas pedal. If Arkansas gets stuck in 3rd-and-longs, it’s going to be a long day for Brandon Allen.