The Latest: Fisher embraces Texas A&M’s tough schedule

              Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on SEC media days (all times local):

4 p.m.

If Texas A&M is going to be among the best teams in the country this season, the Aggies are going to have to beat some of the nation’s preseason favorites.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said Tuesday during SEC media days that he doesn’t mind the brutal schedule. In fact, the second-year A&M coach relishes it.

Fisher says “we don’t want to spoil anything. We want to take care of our own. They’re all great teams, but we expect to play with them, compete with them and win those games. That’s why we’re here.”

The Aggies play Clemson, Alabama and Georgia this year and all three of those programs will likely be among the preseason top five.

Texas A&M finished with a 9-4 record last season, including a 5-3 mark in the SEC. The Aggies are expected to be competitive again thanks to an experienced offense that includes junior quarterback Kellen Mond, who threw for 3,107 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions last year.

Mond says the team is reminded of the tough schedule every day during weightlifting and other workouts and that “it’s a really good opportunity for us.”


3 p.m.

Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee have a new offensive coordinator and more 300-plus pound blockers.

The Volunteers are hoping that combination and an experienced quarterback in Jarrett Guarantano help kick-start one of the Southeastern Conference’s least productive offenses. Pruitt hired Jim Chaney from Georgia to run an offense that finished last in the league in both total and rushing yards per game last season.

Guarantano said Tuesday at SEC media days that Chaney is “going to get people the ball who really need to have the ball in their hands.” The quarterback is working with his fourth offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Chris Weinke) in as many years.

The sputtering offense contributed to a second straight last-place finish in the Eastern Division.

The offensive line has undergone a physical transformation, though. Pruitt says the Vols had two 300-plus pound offensive linemen this time last year. He says that number has jumped to 15.

The coach says “when you look at our football team, we’ve completely changed.”