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Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Arkansas 20, Texas A&M 10

September 26, 2021
17,502

The Aggies were overrated.

That was made abundantly clear in No. 7 Texas A&M’s 20-10 college football loss to No. 16 Arkansas on Saturday.

Overreaction to one loss can be foolish, especially when losing to a ranked opponent.

However, A&M showed very few qualities of a top-flight football team in its dismal showing. Red flags were raised amid a shower of yellow flags.

Whether the Aggies can bounce back is uncertain. But certainly, there were hard lessons learned in defeat.

What I learned

USA Today
Calzada passed for just 151 yards on Saturday and was sacked three times.

The offense is in crisis. The Aggies’ 10-point output against Colorado was explained as backup quarterback Zach Calzada being unprepared to replace injured Haynes King. But A&M has now been held to 10 points by the two Power 5 teams they’ve faced. Seven of the remaining eight opponents are Power 5 teams. Yikes. Injuries are obviously part of the problem, but Calzada appears indecisive. The offensive line is consistently beaten. Receivers can’t get open. Defenses are over-playing the run daring the Aggies to throw deep. They don’t.

The defense cannot carry the team. The return of the Wrecking Crew narrative should’ve ended when Arkansas scored 17 points on its first three series. The defense is good — really good — but it’s not dominant enough to make up for A&M’s offensive limitations. Holding Arkansas to 20 points was an impressive feat, but the Aggies continue to give up too many big plays.

Myles Jones wasn’t ready to return. The super-senior cornerback has been sidelined most of the season by a foot injury. He was back in the starting lineup, but perhaps prematurely. Jones was beaten by Arkansas’ Treylon Burks for an 85-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. He immediately exited the game. Burks could be an NFL first-round draft choice. He’ll beat a lot of cornerbacks in one-on-one coverage, but Jones’ absence afterward indicates he’s not yet at full strength.

What I loved

Isaiah Spiller’s 67-yard touchdown burst was a thing of beauty. He’s been one of the few — if not the only — bright spots in the offense. He saved the game against Colorado the Aggies with big catches. His big run provided at least a chance for a rally.

The defense bounced back from its slow start and gave up just three points over the last 44 minutes of the game. That allowed the Aggies to at least stay in contention.

Nik Constantinou continues to punt at an All-American level. He averaged 55.8 yards on eight punts. More importantly, five of his kicks were downed inside the Arkansas 20-yard line.

What I loathed

Isaiah Spiller’s 67-yard touchdown run brought the Aggies within 17-10 with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter. Spiller touched the football once on A&M’s remaining 14 plays (excluding punts).

A&M’s reluctance to challenge opponents deep is alarming. While Arkansas threw long to Burks for a touchdown, A&M appears not even to try. Coach Jimbo Fisher said about a half dozen deep passes were called, but the shots were not taken. The majority of A&M’s passes were thrown underneath the coverage. Seven of Calzada’s passes gained 5 yards or less. Three resulted in negative yardage. A&M threw short so often that two pass interference penalties against Arkansas netted the Aggies 2 and 3 yards. Calzada’s interception was on another check-down pass in which he hit center Bryce Foster’s helmet with the throw.

Isaiah Spiller’s 67-yard touchdown run brought the Aggies within 17-10 with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter. Spiller touched the football once on A&M’s remaining 14 plays (excluding punts). He lost 2 yards on yet another pass under the coverage.

The Aggies committed 11 penalties. That’s alarming no matter the situation, but A&M cannot afford to sacrifice yardage with self-inflicted wounds. False starts put A&M behind schedule. Holding penalties and an ineligible receiver downfield call nullified positive plays. A holding penalty on a punt backed the Aggies up to their 10-yard line. They struggle to recover from their mistakes.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Arkansas 20, Texas A&M 10

14,052 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by Shadow of CuervoAg
Aggieland12thMan
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AG
Over reaction? I don't know that Olin. If it were just a one game let down, then yes, but this has been a four game wretched offensive effort. I haven't seen any improvement in the offensive front line in the four games. We expect our bench to play much better than this. We expect great things from the starting O-line, but they aren't even close to being SEC ready. It appears the size and talent is there…that leaves coaching as being suspect. Am I missing something here?
TMF
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AG
QB play shouldn't be this bad. Calzada is not a freshman. Jimbo should have much better options. He needs to start proving he is this QB guru. If the QB is scared to take shots down field get someone else in there. Perhaps the recruiting isn't as good as we are lead to believe. I think talent is just as concerning as the play-calling and preparation.
DTuba
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3 games. Not 4. We had plenty of offense in the first game (with King). That being said, your statement still stands. I agree, our offense has problems. Big ones.
bv86ag
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AG
I call bs even on what people are claiming is O-line talent.
We had to rely on a Tenn transfer who consistently got beat at LT and wind up putting Green over there.
Foster is not center material.
Green is being moved all over.
Trainor can't cut it at T.
Matthews is a washout his entire career here.
One OL let go due to criminal behavior.
No upperclassmen depth to speak of.
This and Calzada being scared and indecisive and inexperienced.
And quite frankly...the O-line is so bad it's doubtful an inexperienced Haynes King would fare much better except for a couple of "run for his life" scrambles.
And we've already seen what happens to him when he does that.
Utterly unacceptable for a 90 million dollar investment.
As fans and alumni...we have been lied to about the recruiting...especially the OL-line.
PatriotAg02
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AG
You could point to o-line play, QB, etc…..but the whole damn team looked like it didn't want to be there. Prime example……Ainias. Dude looked like he was just going through the motions and made several mental errors. Players that played great last year looked like they have regressed. I've seen a lot of football teams and have been on some. Something ain't right.
dcg4403
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AG
Hey Jimbo Fisher? You just got a pay raise for stupid reasons. Regardless EARN YOUR DAMN money!!! Your team looks as bad, if not worse, than the days of Kevin Sumlin. Elite pay means we expect to see elite play! Immensely disappointing Fisher. Pull your head out of your arse.
Cojack
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It's amazing at these press conferences Jimbo has his foot in his mouth and his head up his arse at the same time…. The last 4 press conferences we hear the same BS over and over "self-inflicted wounds ". I said before the season started that there was something out of whack in that locker room, now it's showing… clean up your sh*t show Jimbo!
DGAG92
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AG
Not to be cynical, but is this what $90,000,000.00 gets you these days?

Absolutely UNACCEPTABLE and someone's head needs to be on the chopping block. Sick of the excuses from Jimbo, tired of the talking points and done "HIS" team not being ready to play.

Get it fixed or GTFO.
Matsui
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AG
Another excellent analysis. Thanks
2004FIGHTINTXAG
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After Spiller's long TD run, Achane got 7 yards on the first play of the following series. Jimbo proceeds to never run the ball again. Amazing.
DGAG92
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AG
Secondly, WTF are our coaches in the booth paid to do?? The alleged INT yesterday, which frankly decided the game, was questionable and I can live with the decision, but the lack of outrage and stoppage of the game to point out the BLATANT targeting on the receiver that wasn't even mentioned by the TV crew is disturbing. I have ZERO doubt in my mind, had that been the other way around, it would have be reviewed over and over, the game would have been stopped and we would have lost a player to targeting. Have some balls and get your head out of your asses….we're paying all of you enough to see that stuff.
DGAG92
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AG
Maddening.
Nosmo
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AG
Spillers first run was 11 yards.

Spiller and Achane combined for 33 yard on the next 14 carries.

Spiller then runs 67.
SABUILDERAG
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We lost one game last year and won the Orange Bowl. We were ranked in the preseason top 5. These are things that have not been associated with A&M football in a long time. Y'all act like we are coming off a decade of conference championships and national titles.

Coming in to '21, we were already breaking in a new QB and OL and now we are breaking in the backup new QB and have lost one of our best young OL for the last few games. I am disappointed that the coaching staff has been slow to adjust to the situation and there is a lot to be frustrated with, but all of the calls for Jimbo's head and insinuating that there is some huge rift in the locker room are not helpful for the program long term. How about we try to help us get where we need to be by keeping things reasonable, if not positive, and stop acting like the entire program that Jimbo is building is now in the toilet. Nobody wants to come play for a program whose fan base is a bunch of sissy crybabies who come unglued and want everybody run out of town when they lose a game.
cavscout96
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AG
SABUILDERAG said:

Nobody wants to come play for a program whose fan base is a bunch of sissy crybabies who come unglued and want everybody run out of town when they lose a game.


Amen.....except those jackwagons who wear burnt orange.....
Shadow of CuervoAg
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Yes - you are missing one thing. EXPERIENCE.

This O-line is young and/or inexperienced outside of K. Green. And continues struggle because of it.
Do not post opposing views or you too, like me, will become a shadow of your former self.
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