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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Unable to catch or create breaks, Aggies disappoint in 26-22 loss to Bulldogs

October 3, 2021
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Early in the first quarter, Jalen Wydermyer got behind the Mississippi State defense to reel in his 13th career touchdown catch.

That set a Texas A&M record for tight ends.

It was the first of two broken records on Saturday night. The second came in the post-game press conference following a 26-22 loss at Kyle Field.

“We’ve got to play better in those games where every possession matters, every play matters, every situation matters,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We’ve got to play better, execute better and we’ve got to coach better and find a way to help them find those plays. I know it sounds like…”

A broken record? Absolutely.

The Aggies’ need to play better, to execute better and to value each possession is a critique that’s been consistently repeated. Just like a broken record.

That’s not all that’s broken in Aggieland.

The dreams of a championship campaign: Broken.

The promise of a great team: Broken.

The hearts of 87,973 assembled at Kyle Field: Broken.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Fisher and his staff are stuck in a loop trying to solve too-familiar problems.

And with No. 1 ranked Alabama visiting next week, one must question if the Aggies’ spirit is next.

The Aggies opened the season ranked sixth. They have fallen to 15th. The Tide likely will eject them from the Top 25. That is if A&M somehow manages to stay in the polls this week. Don’t count on it.

The Aggies (3-2, 0-2) must face the reality of what little they’ve accomplished. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) has lost to Memphis and needed three fourth-quarter touchdowns to edge Louisiana Tech, 35-34.

A&M’s loss to No. 8 Arkansas didn’t seem so bad until the Razorbacks were destroyed by Georgia, 37-0.

Even A&M’s “marquee” 10-7 victory over Colorado is polluted. The Buffaloes have lost four straight and have managed just 34 points against four FBS opponents.

This once-promising season is now teetering on the edge of disaster. Unless the Aggies quickly right the ship that Mike “The Pirate” Leach sank on Saturday night, the Texas Bowl may beckon.

Of course,  optimistic Aggies — those who maintain A&M never loses but only runs out of time —will seek rays of light shining through the smog.

Silver linings? Well, there was the grounded bird — John David Crow? — that drew a raucous cheer from the crowd when it stepped into the end zone.

Other than that, well…

• Quarterback Zach Calzada showed signs of progress. He passed for a touchdown and ran for another. His lone interception wasn’t exactly his fault. Receiver Demond Demas failed to catch a fairly accurate throw and instead deflected the football to Mississippi State safety Fred Peters.

“We’ve got to play better, execute better and we’ve got to coach better and find a way to help them find those plays.”
- Jimbo Fisher

“He’s getting better and better each time,” Fisher said. “It’s his third game he’s played. We’ve got to continue to play better around him, too. The interception hits a guy perfect with the ball and gives up three points. If they catch that ball, what does it do for his confidence going the other way?”

But Calzada only completed 12 passes for 135 yards and took a decisive sack for a safety with the game on the line.

• The A&M running game produced 161 yards with an average of 5.1 yards per attempt. Perhaps it was boosted by junior Kenyon Green shifting from tackle back to left guard where he earned All-American honors last season.

“Hopefully, that’s what we can stay with,” Fisher said. “I liked that group. I thought we did a solid job.”

Well, except for three sacks the line allowed.

• The constant speculation that Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko will soon be leaving for a head coaching gig may subside. The Aggies surrendered 438 yards of offense.

Yeah, that’s what this season is becoming. Allowing 438 yards can qualify as a bright spot.

Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers routinely threw underneath A&M’s soft coverage for short to medium gains. He completed 46 of 59 passes for 408 yards.

Rogers could be patient because he was rarely harassed by the Aggies three-man rush.

“We were only sending three (rushers) for the most part,” sophomore safety Antonio Johnson said. “We knew we were going to have to cover longer. We knew they (A&M defensive linemen) were going to do their best to get to the quarterback and rush him and get him off his timing with the receivers and stuff. They did a good job. We just had to do it on the back end.”

Despite all these issues, A&M still had an opportunity to pull out a victory.

Trailing 24-19 midway through the fourth quarter, Devon Achane ripped off a 41-yard run to the Mississippi State 28-yard line.

The drive reached the State 18, but on first down Calzada missed Demas, who appeared open near the right corner of the south end zone.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Achane broke off a big run late to put the Aggies in scoring position, but the offense couldn’t find the end zone.

Achane lost four yards on second down. Calzada overthrew an open Ainias Smith in the left corner on third down. The Aggies instead settled for Seth Small’s third field goal to pull within two points, 24-22, with 5:39 to play.

A&M regained the football on its own 11-yard line, but there would be no clutch game-winning drive. On third down, Calzada appeared to hold the ball too long and was dropped for the safety.

That was just one of several self-inflicted wounds the Aggies were left lamenting:

There was a pass that was misplayed into a costly interception.

A face mask penalty in coverage on third-and-goal from the 2-yard nullified a Mississippi State incompletion. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown two plays later.

A bad snap resulted in a 16-yard loss and squashed a drive.

A pass interference penalty on third-and-16 resulted in a Mississippi State first down.

The Aggies just can’t seem to get any breaks.

Except, of course, for those in the dreams, promises, hearts and records.

Discussion from...

Unable to catch or create breaks, Aggies disappoint in 26-22 loss to Bulldogs

9,654 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by fieldtrailer
aggie67,74&76
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AG
Good article OB that was painful to read. Really sad to see this team let another game be lost due to missed opportunities and boneheaded plays.
northeastag
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AG
I agree that this is a good write-up. But the headline is misleading. We didn't lose because of just a few breaks here and there. We got shoved all over the field on both sides of the ball, and outcoached in most aspects of the game.

I don't know if it's true, but Jordan Rogers said last night that Jimbo's record at this point is exactly the same as Sumlim's was. With what is in front of us, Jimbo may end up behind him by the end of the year. Somewhere, Kevin is smiling.
DarrylYates
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AG
Watching this game, I thought two of our players really stood out (in a bad way) that cost us the game. There were plenty of mistakes by others that contributed to the L, but Calzada and Jaylon Jones were a liability all night. State's offense attacked and harassed Jones all night with ease and Calzada's sack safety to end what could've/should've been a game winning drive sums up his play so far this year. If the o-line can start to gel with what they figured out, King can come back healthy, and if we can find someone else at corner, we could be a decent to good team by the bowl game and have a lot to build on for next year.
“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

- Jimbo Fisher and others probably
Agsone
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AG
pitiful
A&M Give Us Room!
tn_ags
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Seems like the the game is moving too fast for Calzada. When he makes quick decisions, he is mostly successful. When he takes too long, it's almost always a disaster. IMHO, this offense is too complicated for him. No OL is going to provide the ten seconds of protection he seems to require. That said, play calling was absolutely predictable. Which makes me think Jimbo has been sandbagging for Bama, believing we could mail in Ws for Arky and State. Do we know whether or not Anias can play QB? Triple option, anyone?
DGAG92
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AG
Hey Jimbo, it is like it used to be……maybe even worse.
Class of 1992
senorchipotle
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AG
I misread the title as "unable to coach or create breaks" and I think mine is more accurate.
rhernand
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AG
Very disappointed where the season is heading but not surprised with Jimbo's lack of accountability. The QB competition was close? Don't think this QB could start at Vandy. Jimbo needs to change things around in a big way. I don't see the same criticism that Sumlin took after 3 years.
Spyderman
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AG
Trust the process..
The Extraterrestrial reality-should we keep living the lie?
“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society"..
-JFK...

An est. 68 MILLION Americans, including 19 MILLION Black Children, have been killed in the WOMB since 1973-act, pray and vote accordingly.

Kayne & "POWER"....N-Word and MF-bombs..appropriate? Really? TAMU, The Great Pretender?
fieldtrailer
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AG
Change catch to coach. Everyone knows about offense. That game plan by Elko was horrible. Wasn't excited to hear Fisher say they couldn't cover in man. This team is a mess.
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