Stripped from its context, perhaps Texas A&M guard Jared Hocker was just speaking generally. Cincinnati does visit No. 5 Ohio State on Saturday, maybe he really likes the Bearcats. Perhaps he likes rival No. 10 Texas to take down SEC bunk mate No. 6 LSU.
No, of course not. Hocker was talking about his No. 12 Aggies visit to No. 1 Clemson when he said, “There will be an upset.”
Texas A&M played Clemson tough last year, of course. At least 50 percent of the optimism around the 12th-ranked Aggies is based off that performance, either directly or indirectly. The 2018 Aggies, facing separate deficits of 14-3, 21-6 and 21-13, staged a fourth quarter rally that saw Kellen Mond throwing into the end zone to tie the game with 46 seconds left in regulation. Mond threw for a career-high 430 yards and three touchdowns against a Tiger secondary that intercepted Tua Tagovailoa twice.
But that was last year, and this is this year. Clemson enters as a 19-point favorite, so clearly the folks in the desert don’t believe Dabo Swinney needs any bulletin board material.
If he does, though, the Aggies’ left guard just provided it.