Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies are in almost the exact same situation that they were in a year ago, with one major exception. This year, Fisher takes his Aggies to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for their clash with No. 1 Alabama.

There won’t be 100,000-plus on their side like last year at Kyle Field when the forgotten 3-2 Aggies shocked No. 1 Alabama, 41-38, on a last-second field goal. No, this year, the forgotten 3-2 Aggies must travel to Alabama.

Like last year, the Aggies are coming off a disheartening loss to Mississippi State. A defeat that like last year had the Aggies written off as also-rans in the SEC West. Like last year, the very real prospect of falling to 3-3 brings into question the direction of the program.

Philosophically, Fisher is putting a second embarrassing loss this season behind him. Really, what else can he do?

“You’ve got to move on,” Fisher said. “You can’t let 1 (loss) become 2 and let that progress.”

Interesting that he would make that comment when you consider that Texas A&M has lost 2 games in a row in every season he’s been the Aggies’ head coach, with the exception of the 2020 COVID season, Fisher’s best in Aggieland, when Texsa A&M went 9-1 and finished with a No. 4 ranking nationally.

The Aggies are trying to remain rational. Tight end Max Wright is taking each game one at a time.

“Yeah, absolutely, coming into a matchup after 2 tough losses early in the season is hard, but I think something that’s important is realizing that SEC football as a week-to-week game,” Wright said. “It doesn’t matter about last week. It’s always looking forward to this next week, especially when going to play a good team like Alabama.

“You’ve got to be able to put aside however you’ve been playing and just focus on the task at hand, take it day by day and, preparation-wise just kind of come together. Like, hey, you know what? We know that if we play good football, we’re a really good team. And we haven’t played our best football yet. And so, we’re hoping to just try and capitalize on that.”

Hey, it worked last year.

And knowing you have done it before is a tremendous lift mentally, going into the game on Saturday. But it didn’t happen without a stellar week of preparation.

“You live off your experiences, but at the time, we went out the next week and had tremendous practices and prepared well and went and played well,” Fisher noted. “Those are the things I keep going back to right now. You’ve got to go prepare well in practice.

“To have an opportunity to go play a team like Alabama, to have a chance to play well against them, you have to practice well. We’ve done that before, but hopefully we’ll do it again this week. And I think the want to of our players and everything else is there. Great attitude, we just have to go practice well.”

Of course, that’s easier said than done, but having done it before sure makes it a lot more believable.

Defensive back Antonio Johnson, who ranks 2nd in the SEC with 46 tackles and is a leader on an Aggies defense that yields just 17.8 points per game and ranks 12th in the nation allowing only 5.8 yards per pass so far this season, is also focused on the mental preparation for Saturday.

“Right now, it’s all about just making sure everybody’s in the right headspace going into this game,” Johnson said. “I feel this is a good teaching point for the team. We were in the same spot last year. You know, it’s all about just finishing the season. Each week, just go out, work hard each day, practice hard and go into the game with the mindset to just play for each other.”

That was the formula for success last year against Alabama. We shall see in just a few more days if it carries over to the game on Saturday.