Texas A&M football: Where do the Aggies go from here?
What is there left to say about this Texas A&M team? Now standing below .500 at 3-4, where is this team headed? In what direction? What is there left to even play for? After such high expectations coming in, the season is down the tubes relative to what Aggieland expected from head coach Jimbo Fisher in his 5th season.
With 5 games remaining on the 2022 schedule, even finishing with a winning record comes into question. The Aggies haven’t had a losing season since 2009, when an Independence Bowl loss left them with a 6-7 final record.
Just past the halfway point this season, the Aggies have already lost as many games as they did last year. They’ll need to come up with 3 wins in those final 5 just to break even.
The good news is that 4 of the final 5 are at Kyle Field, with Ole Miss coming in next Saturday, followed by Florida, then LSU in the Nov. 26 finale. Nonconference foe Massachusetts also makes a trip to College Station, and the Aggies must visit Auburn on Nov. 12 in their last regular-season road game of the year.
Based on the Aggies’ performance in a 30-24 loss at South Carolina on Saturday, finding 3 more wins in that schedule isn’t going to be easy. The Aggies basically gifted South Carolina a 17-0 lead before stopping the bleeding.
Because of A&M turnovers and a kick coverage breakdown, South Carolina’s offense needed to generate just 18 yards to go up 17-0. It was a hole too deep for the Aggies to climb out of.
Fisher likes to remind us how young this team is. On Saturday, because of injuries, he employed 3 freshman starters along the offensive line. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, especially when you consider that quarterback Haynes King wasn’t 100 percent to begin with. The sophomore signal-caller didn’t make to the end of the game.
An injured shoulder relegated King to the sideline after he threw for 178 yards on a 17-for-32 night, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
We did, however, catch a glimpse of what many have been waiting for: the introduction of 5-star recruit Conner Weigman under center. Granted, it wasn’t in the most ideal situation, behind a banged-up o-line that not only failed to protect either QB but also provided RB Devon Achane with little running room — although Achane did manage 99 yards and 1 TD on 20 carries.
Still, it didn’t offer a balance to the offense, although digging a 17-0 hole early didn’t help, either.
In his debut, Weigman wasn’t much better than King. He completed just 8 of 15 passes for 91 yards. He didn’t throw a pick or a TD. Still, he provides the answer to the question of what’s left to play for.
Getting these young players valuable onfield experience would and should be the game plan for the final month-plus. Restarting the 12-year bowl streak that ended last postseason because of COVID-19 concerns and injuries would seem secondary at this point.
Ole Miss, the Aggies’ opponent on Saturday, has a much more talented roster than South Carolina. So does LSU. Assuming the Aggies take care of business with Massachusetts, they would still need wins over Florida and Auburn just to reach .500 and qualify for a bowl. But those aren’t gimmes, either. The Auburn game is on the road. Texas A&M hasn’t won a conference road game since October 2021.
So focusing on the future beyond this season appears to be the way to go. That means more Weigman, and let the chips fall where they may.