You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought Texas A&M would be anything but 2-0 at this point in the season. With a No. 6 national to start the season, openers with Sam Houston and Appalachian State – both at Kyle Field – seemed little but tune-ups for the big games to follow.

But the Aggies were shocked last Saturday by a veteran Appalachian State team, leaving all preseason expectations reshuffled. Here are 5 reasons why Texas A&M is off to an unimpressive start in 2022.

Unimpressive play at QB

In analyzing a football team, good or bad, it usually helps to start at quarterback. For Texas A&M, Haynes King has underwhelmed, to say the least. He threw for less than 100 yards in Saturday’s loss, only netting 97 on 13 completions out of 20 attempts. There were no touchdown passes (but at least there were no interceptions, either).

For the season, he’s tied for 10th in the SEC in completions (33) and 8th in both completion percentage (64.7) and QB rating (152.21). That’s insufficient if a team expects to challenge for conference and national honors.

King earned the starting role at quarterback because he knows the system better than LSU transfer Max Johnson or freshman Conner Weigman. He’s certainly no more accomplished on the field than Johnson, who threw for 2,815 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Tigers in 2021.

So, even though head coach Jimbo Fisher said after Saturday’s loss that every position would be evaluated, it appears the job will remain King’s until either Johnson or Weigman can learn the system well enough for Fisher to feel comfortable in meaningful situations.

Offensive scheme

This probably goes hand-in-hand with King’s limitations but it’s been an uninspired playbook that King has been working with. The Aggies are just not presenting defenses with the threat of moving the ball through the air with any consistency.

Of course, that affects the running game. The usually strong ground attack is struggling because of it. After 2 games, the Aggies are 12th in the SEC in rushing, averaging 99.5 yards a game. That’s unheard of in College Station.

Offensive line struggles

This area was envisioned as a potential strength, despite losing NFL first-rounder Kenyon Green. But there already have been setbacks.

Center Bryce Foster, a  freshman All-America selection last year, is out with an illness and hasn’t played yet this year. Right guard Layden Robinson isn’t at full strength.

On the left side is redshirt freshman Trey Zuhn, who still is learning the ropes at tackle, and redshirt sophomore Aki Ogunbiyi at guard.

Fisher hopes Foster can return this week against Miami. But until he does, and until Robinson is fully healthy, it will continue to be a makeshift offensive line for the Aggies.

Fisher’s micromanaging at QB

This is my opinion and I may be way out of bounds, but the way Fisher micromanages quarterbacks can’t be comforting for them. They have to explain every move and every thought process each time they leave the field. It has to grate on one’s nerves.

Fisher is in the ear of his quarterback every time he returns to the sideline, mostly appearing to be critical rather than encouraging. That has to take a toll after a while. I applaud Kellen Mond for putting up with it for 4 years, but not everyone has that kind of patience.

I believe this contributes to the lack of big-time quarterbacks coming to College Station, although if Weigman sticks around long enough he can prove this suspicion wrong.

Tradition, the bad kind

Tradition is huge at Texas A&M. But I’m not talking about the Midnight Yell, or the Corps of Cadets, or swaying to the Aggie War Hymn, or Reveille. That’s the good stuff.

I’m talking about a newer tradition, the rut, if you will, that has defined Aggies football for the past decade: It’s the 8-4 regular-season record the Aggies have posted 5 times since 2013, including last year.

Texas A&M has won either 7 or 8 regular season games for 9 consecutive seasons. It’s one tradition the tradition-rich program would like to drop.