Jimbo Fisher receives praise for play-calling abilities from North Carolina DC Jay Bateman
Although Texas A&M didn’t end up in the College Football Playoff, it’s still been a successful season for the Aggies. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has led them to an 8-1 record, with their only loss coming at Alabama. And after that, they ended the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
Now, Texas A&M has an opportunity to end a strong season with a win over North Carolina in the Orange Bowl on Saturday. And there are some on the Tar Heels’ side who are impressed with what Fisher has accomplished with the Aggies this season, including their defensive coordinator, Jay Bateman.
“I think he’s a tremendous football coach. I think he’s a tremendous play-caller,” Bateman told the media on Monday (h/t Travis Brown of The Bryan College Station Eagle). “He does a lot. So I think schematically he gives you a lot of conflicts, probably as many conflicts as anybody we’ve played.
“I have a lot of respect for him, a lot of respect for their players. I don’t know if he reminds me of anybody else, but I do think this: I think he’s committed to running the football, and if you don’t stop the run, the rest of it doesn’t really matter. I think like a lot of people, that’s where it starts, and he’s got some really talented kids to run the football with and a really good O-line. That’s kind of been our focus, but he definitely is going to give us some challenges for sure.”
The Aggies’ leading rusher has been sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller, who has ran for 986 yards and seven touchdowns this season. But Texas A&M has also been successful throwing the ball, as senior quarterback Kellen Mond has passed for 2,050 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Texas A&M and North Carolina are set to kick off on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.