Sam Houston State Bearkats (0-0) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (0-0)
September 3, 2022 12:00 pm EDT
The Line: Texas A&M Aggies -30.5 / Sam Houston State Bearkats +30.5; Over/Under: 52.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Texas A&M Aggies and Sam Houston State Bearkats do battle Saturday in week 1 college football action from Kyle Field.
The Sam Houston State Bearkats will look to get themselves ready for the move to the FBS in 2023 after finishing 2021 at 11-1 including 6-0 in the WAC to finish as the #1 overall seed in the FCS playoffs. The Bearkats stay as short-lived in the playoffs, as they took down Incarnate Word in the second round before they were upset in the quarterfinals by Montana State in a 42-19 thumping. The bad news for Sam Houston State is that Eric Schmid is gone as the QB and leader of the Bearkats’ offense. The good news is that Keegan Shoemaker can step in after leading SHSU to a win over Stephen F. Austin last season but Georgia Tech transfer Jordan Yates will be in the mix as well. The return of Ife Adeyi and Cody Chrest, Sam Houston State’s two top receivers from a year ago, will make the transition much easier for whoever gets the starting gig. Noah Smith also returns at RB for SHSU after logging 567 rushing yards last season while Dezmon Jackson transfers in from Oklahoma State as a more traditional running back in the Bearkats system. On defense, Markel Perry and Jevon Leon return to anchor the Bearkats’ defensive line with Perry leading SHSU with 5 sacks and 15 TFLs in 2021 while Trevor Williams is back at linebacker after leading Sam Houston State with 78 tackles last season.
The Texas A&M Aggies will be looking to step forward in 2022 after a decent 8-4 season in 2021, finishing with a 4-4 mark in SEC conference play. The Aggies did receive an invite to play in the Gator Bowl, but in the end, a COVID outbreak within the team forced the Aggies to withdraw from the bowl game. The QB situation is murky for the Aggies right now, with Haynes King likely to start but LSU transfer Max Johnson isn’t far behind and no one would be surprised in Aggie nation if Conner Weigman ended up taking over the QB1 gig sooner rather than later. The Aggies no longer have the services of Isaiah Spiller in the backfield, but Devone Achane led the Aggies with 9 TDs and 910 yards last season and the wide receiver group is in good hands with Ainias Smith leading the way for Texas A&M last season with 47 catches and 6 scores, but off-field issues may play a part in how much we see of Smith early on this season. The Aggies still have a young and talented group of pass-catchers, headlined by Evan Stewart and Jalen Preston as well as incoming recruits like Noah Thomas and Chris Marshall. On defense, the Aggies are overhauling a bit after losing a lot of key pieces, but there’s a wealth of talent waiting to be unleashed as names like Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, Anthony Lucas, Lebbeus Overton, Walter Nolan and Shemar Stewart will all see reps on the line for the Aggies and Andrew White is expected to lead the charge at linebacker for A&M this season. Antonio Johnson returns at safety after putting up 79 tackles while Demani Richardson had 65 tackles for the Aggies last season.
Sam Houston State is 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 September games. Texas A&M is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 non-conference games while the over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against the WAC.
I get why you’d look Texas A&M’s way here, as the Aggies are the power team against an FCS squad on the surface. However, Sam Houston’s getting ready to make the jump, and they’re going to treat this like they would if they were an FBS squad already and this Bearkats team is no joke as they went 11-1 last year. I think A&M wins this one, but it’s likely going to be a battle early on and I think that could lead to Sam Houston State sneaking in the backdoor late for the cover. Give me the Bearkats and the points.