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Texas A&M Football

'Reliability' a crucial component in Texas A&M's on-going QB battle

August 10, 2022
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There’s nothing like picking the right horse.

In 1913, Donerail was a 91-1 long shot at winning the Kentucky Derby. He won. The payoff was $185. That would be equivalent to about $5,200 today.

Making the right pick in a horse race can pay off big. The same can be said for a quarterback race.

That’s well known at Texas A&M.

Ten years ago, Johnny Manziel was the pick in a quarterback competition with Jameill Showers.

Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, and the Aggies finished 11-2. They likely would have lost a couple more games if Manziel had not been chosen.

Here we are with another quarterback competition in College Station, and with the season beginning in 25 days, nobody seems to know who to pick.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
King started just two games last season before suffering a season-ending injury.

Will head coach Jimbo Fisher choose Haynes King, who has three years of experience in the Aggie offense? Will he choose LSU transfer Max Johnson, who has the most playing experience? Will he choose five-star freshman Conner Weigman, who may be the most talented of the three?

Even coaches seemingly don’t know.

“The quarterback race is a very competitive battle,” co-offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey said last Sunday. “One guy has SEC experience — Max Johnson — but is learning this offense. We’re very different on offense (than LSU).

“In the spring, actually, Haynes had obviously a little more experience in this offense, which is as important as playing in games. He doesn’t have a whole lot of game experience, but he’s been on the field in this offense, and he has the most snaps in this offense.

“Conner is just an extremely talented guy. From what I’ve seen, he’s figuring it out. In the spring, he was just learning the system, still making great plays, and he’s doing the same thing now. "

The winner of the competition figures to be the candidate who makes the most plays. Maybe it should be the guy who makes the fewest mistakes.

Who is that?

Johnson threw just seven interceptions in two seasons at LSU. King threw three interceptions in last year’s season-opening victory over Kent State, though Fisher has said receivers were responsible for two of them.

TexAgs
Last year at LSU, Max Johnson totaled 2,815 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Unfortunately, A&M has a recent history of turnover-prone quarterbacks. A decrease in turnovers at that position likely results in an increase in victories.

Last season, quarterback Zach Calzada committed 10 turnovers (nine interceptions, one fumble). The Aggies finished 8-4. Interceptions were major factors in losses to Arkansas and Ole Miss.

In 2019 Kellen Mond committed 12 turnovers (nine interceptions, three fumbles). The Aggies finished 8-5.

Mond and Nick Starkel combined for 14 interceptions and five fumbles when the Aggies were 7-6 in 2017.

In 2018, Mond was responsible for 12 turnovers (nine interceptions, three fumbles). The Aggies finished the regular season 8-4 but won their bowl game to go 9-4.

Compare that to the 10-game schedule of 2020. That year Mond committed just five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles). The Aggies finished 9-1 and ranked fourth in the nation.

Unfortunately, A&M’s turnover issues at quarterback were not limited to Mond and Calzada.

Trevor Knight had 10 turnovers (7-3) in 2016. Kyle Allen had nine turnovers (7-2) in 2015. Allen and Kenny Hill combined for 15 (13-2) in 2014.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Consistency at the QB position may be the key to pushing Jimbo Fisher & Co. over the eight-win plateau. 

That’s not an earth-shattering revelation. Successful teams typically have quarterbacks who limit their mistakes.

Sixteen of the 20 teams to make the College Football Playoff in the last five years had quarterbacks who threw seven or fewer interceptions.

That would indicate that a quarterback with fewer mistakes is more valuable than a quarterback who makes more big plays.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Manziel threw nine interceptions and lost two fumbles in the Aggies’ 11-2 campaign of 2012. He had 14 turnovers in 2013.

If an elite quarterback emerges with the ability to make plays on the scale on which Manziel did, more turnovers can be tolerated.

Maybe an elite quarterback will emerge for A&M. If not, a reliable one may suffice.

Discussion from...

'Reliability' a crucial component in Texas A&M's on-going QB battle

13,981 Views | 15 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by MagnumLoad
Coloaggie85
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AG
Nice perspective!
SinKiller
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King
Johnson
Weigman

In the end, Johnson is gonna be odd man out. You know how we felt about losing Calzado, that's LSU with Johnson.
Sterling82
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It seems to me, if they're running that close, you have to go with the most talented guy that's just learning the system. He should get better through the season, as did Manziel, and have a higher upside. I don't look for it to occur though.
jigsaw87
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SpiderM85
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NoahAg
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In a surprise move Stowers will start.
Let's go, Brandon!
dcg4403
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AG
Weigman isn't really even a consideration so not sure why peps keep putting him in the mix. It is 110% about King vs Johnson.

King gets the start and I personally think Fisher's staff already knows this. It is Haynes to lose from bad play in the 1st two games of the season.
BrotherChad
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AG
This title is ridiculous…what QB is effective without "reliability"…come on now!
MagnumLoad
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dcg4403 said:

Weigman isn't really even a consideration so not sure why peps keep putting him in the mix. It is 110% about King vs Johnson.

King gets the start and I personally think Fisher's staff already knows this. It is Haynes to lose from bad play in the 1st two games of the season.
If so, that is a big coaching mistake imo. Play the most talented guy, passing and running, and have him play for 3 years before he goes pro, and not leave. Our defense will be so strong that they can cover for a few early growing pains.

Edited to add that Showers was the safe pick over Johnny. Safe picks are for losers imo.
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AG
MagnumLoad said:

dcg4403 said:

Weigman isn't really even a consideration so not sure why peps keep putting him in the mix. It is 110% about King vs Johnson.

King gets the start and I personally think Fisher's staff already knows this. It is Haynes to lose from bad play in the 1st two games of the season.
If so, that is a big coaching mistake imo. Play the most talented guy, passing and running, and have him play for 3 years before he goes pro, and not leave. Our defense will be so strong that they can cover for a few early growing pains.

Edited to add that Showers was the safe pick over Johnny. Safe picks are for losers imo.
MagnumLoad
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Practice reports are that King and Johnson have worked with the ones, and Weigman only with the 3's. If that is true, it is not a true competition re Weigman. So what does Fisher do next year? Does he expect Weigman, who is the most talented qb we have recruited in a very long time, to sit again next year? We can win with this team no matter which of the three qb's play, but are King or Johnson natty caliber?

Weigman came in early to focus on football and sat out baseball. I don't think he is going to wait two years to play football. Fisher is not one to change starting quarterbacks. If Weigman never plays for A&M, we need a new coach imo.
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Sterling82
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I don't know if a new coach is order but, if Weigman isn't getting an equal chance to compete for the job and ends up leaving, it will be a colossal blunder.
NoahAg
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MagnumLoad said:

Practice reports are that King and Johnson have worked with the ones, and Weigman only with the 3's. If that is true, it is not a true competition re Weigman. So what does Fisher do next year? Does he expect Weigman, who is the most talented qb we have recruited in a very long time, to sit again next year? We can win with this team no matter which of the three qb's play, but are King or Johnson natty caliber?

Weigman came in early to focus on football and sat out baseball. I don't think he is going to wait two years to play football. Fisher is not one to change starting quarterbacks. If Weigman never plays for A&M, we need a new coach imo.
True freshman Weigman is barely here and now he's already gone!
Zoo gonna Zoo.

This season we need a game manager. That's Max. I'll gladly take 27 TDs and 6 interceptions. It's a big jump from HS to SEC. Max has been there. No need to rush Weigman out there. He can learn the offense this year and win the job next year as a redshirt freshman. You know, like that QB we had 10 years ago.
Let's go, Brandon!
mb31454
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Johnson was a two year starter at LSU with seven turnovers. With Johnson, the current team has enough talent to win 10 or 12 games.
MagnumLoad
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Different perspectives for sure. With Fisher though, whoever is the qb this season will be the default starter next season, assuming we go 9-3 or better, which we can do with our defense and running game no matter who starts.. And free transfer and nil have changed the game since Johnny.

Well, Jimbo said the qb's are all getting to work with the 1's. So, I stand corrected. The news reports were not accurate. Don't know why I trusted news reports about football, when news in general is often false.
I hate tu. It's in my blood.
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