Texas A&M vs. Notre Dame Week 1 Preview: Keys to the Game

The Texas A&M Aggies have a major opportunity ahead of them in Week 1 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Sep 23, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom (8) tackles Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Jaden Greathouse (19) in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom (8) tackles Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Jaden Greathouse (19) in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas A&M Aggies open the 2024 regular season with an enormous opportunity at their fingertips.

Not only do the Aggies have a chance to host what will likely be a top-10 team in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but they get to do it at prime time on ABC, in what will be the most talked about game of Week 1 of the college football season.

In other words, the atmosphere at Kyle Field should be electric.

Still, games aren't decided in June, and Texas A&M and Notre Dame will both have to take care of business when they take the field this August.

With that in mind, here's what both the Aggies and Fighting Irish will have to do if either wants to emerge victorious in the season opener:

Texas A&M wins if...

... Conner Weigman is Conner Weigman, and the pass defense is actually improved.

The Aggies have two big things at work that are going to make the difference between them having a successful season or not. The first of which, is Conner Weigman returning to form.

Weigman was lost for the season last year with an ankle injury and has yet to get back to 100 percent health. That said, our last update from Mike Elko was that Weigman was very close. If that is indeed the case, and he plays as well as we expect him to, the Aggies should have the first half of the formula.

The other half of that formula is the Aggies pass defense, which was not up to par in 2023. Fortunately for Texas A&M, there are a lot of new faces in the secondary, and things look to be much improved. If that shows through in prime time, we like the Aggies' chances.

Notre Dame wins if...

... It makes things difficult for Conner Weigman.

Sensing a trend here? If the Irish want to beat Texas A&M in front of what promises to be a wild crowd at Kyle Field, they are going to have to take away the Aggies' best weapon - Weigman. Even if they don't completely take him away, it is hard to be confident about an Aggies win without their leader under center having one of his best games.

That said, the Irish are a talented football team with College Football Playoff aspirations, and they have one of the best defensive fronts in the nation, so they should be perfectly capable of at least throwing him off balance and disrupting him from time to time. If they can do that, the Irish will have a solid chance of escaping College Station with a win.


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Matt Galatzan

MATT GALATZAN

Matt Galatzan is the Managing Editor and Publisher of LonghornsCountry.com, AllAggies.com, and MizzouSportsTalk.com, as well as the Editor-In-Chief of InsideTheBears.com, TheGroveReport.com, RamDigest.com, AllSeahawks.com, and TexansDaily.com. Galatzan graduated from the University of Mississippi, where he studied integrated marketing communications, with minors in journalism and business administration. Galatzan started in the sports journalism industry under Mike Fisher at DallasBasketball.com in 2014, which at the time was part of the 247Sports network. He also spent two years covering the SMU Mustangs for PonyStampede.com on the 247Sports network. When DallasBasketball.com and CowboysCountry.com moved over to Sports Illustrated's Fan Nation network in 2020, Galatzan followed suit, eventually being taking over as the Managing Editor and Publisher of LonghornsCountry.com and AllAggies.com a year later. Through the years, Galatzan has conducted a handful of high-profile one-on-one interviews to add to his resume — in both writing and podcasting. Some of his biggest interviews have been with Mavs owner Mark Cuban, former Longhorns players Dan Neil and Phil Dawson, and many other recruits, and current/former players for each of the teams he has covered. Galatzan is also a full-time employee in the digital media department for Audacy and KRLD FM's 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, which is the official radio home of the Dallas Cowboys. You can find Galatzan on all major social media channels. For any inquiries, please email matt.galatzan@gmail.com