Texas A&M offensive lineman Jared Hocker made a bold proclamation Monday as the Aggies prepare for their game against top-ranked Clemson.
Hocker told reporters, "There will be an upset," on Saturday when A&M hits the road to take on the Tigers:
Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher appeared to understand the junior was guilty of poking the bear a bit:
Texas A&M pushed Clemson to the brink last season Kellen Mond threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to bring the Aggies to within two points with 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Mond threw an interception on the two-point conversion attempt to end any hope of forcing overtime.
One could argue A&M is an improved squad this time around, climbing to 12th in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 and 11th in the Coaches Poll.
Clemson's 52-14 win over Georgia Tech last Thursday, meanwhile, didn't necessarily answer how much the defensive line misses Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant. The Tigers held the Yellow Jackets to 3.5 yards per carry, but Tech is facing a difficult transition away from the triple-option offense under first-year head coach Geoff Collins.
The Tigers effectively bottled up the Aggies last September, holding Trayveon Williams to 31 yards on 17 carries. With Williams now in the NFL, Isaiah Spiller and Jashaun Corbin combined to run for 209 yards on 29 carries in Texas A&M's season-opening win over Texas State.
Although an upset is entirely possible, Clemson is an 18.5-point favorite at the Caesars Palace sportsbook.
Considering the Aggies are one of only two ranked teams on the Tigers' schedule, the reigning national champions aren't going to look past A&M after last year's scare. Hocker's comment will give Clemson even more motivation to deliver a more emphatic result this time around.