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“(The score) really wasn’t indicative of the game, because most of the points didn’t come until that last 15 minutes,” said Huckaby, “but maybe A&M got a little tired and we started rolling a little bit. It was closer than what the score was.”
“I think they’re excited. They went up there last year and they did not show up at all. They had 47 missed tackles, which was pretty much a beating for us last year, We had a lot of inexperience last year,” said Mills.
“No matter how it turns out, we’re going to play a lot better this year than we did last year. We’ve got a core of veteran guys and we’ve got some really nice young talent, so I think the plan is to just stay nice and relaxed. Everybody’s expecting us to be the underdog, which we are, and we’re just going to go out there and be free and easy and see what happens.”
Both A&M and Arkansas State have suffered some significant blow to their lineup since last spring. Gone for Arkansas State are flanker Paul Roth, lock Blake White and All Americans Roland Evans and Roan Farr. Gone for A&M are No. 8 Connor Bertrand and All Americans Hunter Leland and Chris Parker.
A&M isn’t as deep as the Red Wolves, but Mills seems excited about some of the younger guys who have shoes to fill, especially No. 8 Chris Frazier.
“He played for us in 7s. He is an exciting young kid,” said Mills. “He’s quick and fast enough to play 7s, but he will hit you like a ton. His work rate and his tackling is just fantastic. I think he’s on the edge of something special.”
Aggie tackling, as a whole, will have to on point Saturday if an upset is in the works. 47 missed tackles against the extremely dangerous Red Wolves backline won’t produce a win. Even without outside center Dean Gericke, who will miss the match with a broken finger, and wing Trey Cobble, who has mono, ASU has a ton of firepower in the backs.
“They’ve got some brilliant backs. I’ve been watching Zac Mizell since he was a high school kid. What makes him so dangerous, like I’ve been telling the guys in practice, is that he’s a great runner, but he can bust you up with his kicking. He’s a great tactical kicker, so our back three coverage has got to be solid tomorrow, otherwise we’re going to burned in that case,” said Mills. “It sounds cliché, but we’ve got to tackle.”