Texas A&M possessed the ball eight times in Saturday’s 17-14 loss to Appalachian State. Six of those possessions ended in four plays or fewer. Only one of those possessions ended in the end zone. The longest of those six possessions gained only 29 yards.
These numbers should terrify the Aggies. We’ll make a more complete accounting of the horror below, but understand this: If the Texas A&M offense keeps playing the way it played Saturday, the Aggies will start this season 1-5.
That is not a prediction.
Center Bryce Foster could return from injury Saturday against Miami, and coach Jimbo Fisher did not rule out a quarterback change when asked about it Monday. “We’ll evaluate everything this week,” Fisher said. For the Aggies’ sake, the coaches and players must make the changes necessary to put a functional offense on Kyle Field against the Hurricanes.
Because that 1-5 business isn’t an exaggeration, either.
Texas A&M’s schedule becomes progressively more difficult for the next four weeks. The Aggies start with Miami in first-year coach Mario Cristobal’s first real test. Then Texas A&M must play Arkansas in Arlington, Texas. Then the Aggies head to Starkville to face Mississippi State. Then they go to Tuscaloosa for a game several million people circled on their calendars when Alabama coach Nick Saban and Fisher traded barbs in May.
What do all four of those opponents have in common? Experienced, demonstrably effective quarterbacks.
Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke turned the Hurricanes’ offense around when he became the starter midway through last season. Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson led a win against the Aggies last year, and the Razorbacks are 11-4 since Jefferson became the full-time starter last season. Mississippi State QB Will Rogers is in his third season piloting coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid and currently ranks No. 3 in the nation in passing yards per game (381.5). And Alabama’s Bryce Young is only the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. (And an underrated thespian.)