Story Poster
Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Miami game presents Fisher with a chance to regain faith of Aggie fans

September 14, 2022
12,042

All of college football was stunned when Texas A&M lured the coach away from a powerful program.

Hiring him was a coup. He was celebrated. He had early success.

But Aggie fans turned against him on a frustrating day at Kyle Field when a nationally-ranked A&M managed just two touchdowns against what should have been an inferior opponent.

Dennis Franchione, who left Alabama to coach A&M, never really regained the trust of Aggie fans after that lackluster 16-9 overtime victory over Baylor in 2005.

Jimbo Fisher may be facing his “Dennis Franchione moment” after a stunning 17-14 loss to Appalachian State last week.

For the first time since Fisher left Florida State to become A&M’s head coach five years ago, Aggies expressed doubts about him on message boards and radio call-in shows.

“You can feel real good, and things still aren’t very good. You can feel real bad, and things aren’t as bad. It still doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do daily and being able to take to the field that week.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

In just two weeks, Fisher has gone from beloved to beleaguered. Yet, he can get back in his fandom’s good graces if he orchestrates a victory over No. 13 Miami on Saturday and regains traction for a strong season.

However, that may require Fisher to make choices with which he isn’t comfortable.

Fisher may have to make a change at quarterback and give Max Johnson a shot in place of struggling Haynes King.

Fisher may have to alter his complex offense, which is supposedly difficult to grasp fully.

He may have to delegate play-calling duties to an assistant coach. That’s a subject previously not open for discussion.

However, earlier this week, Fisher said he could at least consider relinquishing those responsibilities.

“Possibly could,” Fisher said. “You always evaluate those things. We evaluate everything we do.

“Whatever it takes to win. Winning takes all effect over everything.”

Don’t expect co-offensive coordinators Darrell Dickey or James Coley to be calling plays against Miami.

At this point, Fisher says the stagnant offense can be fixed merely by going back to basics.

“It goes back to hard work and fundamentals,” Fisher said. “Being able to practice those habits and being able to take those daily habits from the practice field to the game field.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Star running back Devon Achane saw just 10 carries Saturday despite averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

“It’s cause and effect. You can feel real good, and things still aren’t very good. You can feel real bad, and things aren’t as bad. It still doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do daily and being able to take to the field that week.”

We all understand cause and effect. The cause of discontent is the effect a humiliating loss had on long-suffering A&M fans.

Nobody is feeling real good because the offense looks real bad.

That shouldn’t be the case with big-play threats Devon Achane and Ainias Smith in the lineup.

The return of sophomore center Bryce Foster, who’s back from illness, should help. Maybe giving more playing time to freshman receiver Chris Marshall and freshman tight ends Donovan Green and Jake Johnson will help, too.

Fisher has to consider everything. It has to start with a change at quarterback.

King has been inaccurate and indecisive. Perhaps he’s just not quite ready. Max Johnson, meanwhile, has 14 games of starting experience in the SEC and has played well.

In tough times, fan bases typically call for a quarterback change. Aggies, though, have seen firsthand what a change can do.

A&M started 3-3 in 2010. Then-coach Mike Sherman replaced struggling starter Jerrod Johnson with Ryan Tannehill. The Aggies finished the regular season with six consecutive victories.

Even older Aggies can remember the impact freshman Bucky Richardson had when inserted into the lineup in ’87. A&M closed with eight straight victories.

Seasons can turn around. Even humiliating losses don’t necessarily torpedo a successful year.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
In two seasons at LSU, Max Johnson compiled 3,884 passing yards and 35 touchdowns while completing 59.8 percent of his passes.

In 1991, the Aggies lost to Tulsa 35-34. They bounced back to post nine consecutive victories. Two years later, they were blown out at Oklahoma. Again, they followed with nine consecutive victories.

Just two years ago, Fisher got the Aggies back on track after a poor showing in a win over Vanderbilt was followed by a blowout loss to Alabama. A&M won the next eight games and finished ranked No. 4 in the country.

Unfortunately, there are more examples of an early embarrassment being the precursor to a dismal season.

Take a look back at the unimpressive win over Baylor in ’05. The next week, A&M lost to Colorado, 41-20. A hopeful season unraveled into a 5-6 finish.

Fisher must quickly solve A&M’s problems to make sure his “Franchione moment” doesn’t spiral into a disappointing season. Or worse.

Discussion from...

Miami game presents Fisher with a chance to regain faith of Aggie fans

9,270 Views | 22 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by BrotherChad
ProAg07
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Replying to the title only, no it doesn't
Needs to higher an OC
Gulf Coast Aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Good article Olin. Always respect your honest opinion.
It absolutely has to start with a change at QB. And another change if that doesn't work.
There are other issues obviously. Saturday is a critical time for the entire team to come together and right the ship.
We will soon find out.
Gig'em Aggies
Paul Dirac
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I agree with fundamentals but that ain't the biggest problem. I do think defense needs to hit hard and finish tackles as they gave 3 yards after making contact. Put 2 in the backfield. Spiller and Achane need a lot more touches. Play calling is the #1 problem with this offense. UNC got 64 points against App State and our elite players on offense managed only one TD!
4
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
If Jimbo can get Spiller more touches as you suggest, he will show himself to be the greatest offensive mind of all time, and I will be the first to coronate him publicly as such
Agswon13Aa
How long do you want to ignore this user?
You do know that Spiller actually plays for the San Diego Chargers in the NFL right?? Don't talk about things you clearly you know nothing about!!
Decay
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
4 said:

If Jimbo can get Spiller more touches as you suggest, he will show himself to be the greatest offensive mind of all time, and I will be the first to coronate him publicly as such

Spiller could be on the sideline, King will easily get him 5 touches on overthrown WR screens
rednecked
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Hope? Hope? is that you Hope?
Come Out Roll
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
No, it really doesn't….
Romello
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Frustrating that all of these items needing fixing all point to bad decisions by the head coach. They had 9 months to address these and didn't. Why should we expect miracles in one week?
4
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Romello said:

Frustrating that all of these items needing fixing all point to bad decisions by the head coach. They had 9 months to address these and didn't. Why should we expect miracles in one week?

Good point.

The biggest question I find myself asking is, "What the hell have you been doing this entire off-season?"

Other teams seem to have been resolving obvious issues and actually preparing for the season.

I have no idea what our coaches were doing.
greg.w.h
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Jimbo has fired himself and named himself interim head coach. Let's see if he can rip the interim tag off before we hire someone else…
ontheway
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Nailed it
sharpdressedman
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Good article, OB. I sense more anxiety in the fanbase about this game than any other in a long time.
laruejd
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Hire?
Bakergt
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Sadly, the problem is Jimbo's ego. He should relinquish play calling to someone that has more imagination, and isn't afraid to pull a QB. Jimbo refuses to replace "his guy" because that would make him look bad. He would almost rather stubbornly stick with a struggling QB, than admit he picked the wrong one. Come in Jimbo, hire an OC that's capable, and turn him loose.
Cotton79
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Very fair article, Olin. Top-notch as usual.

Even last spring, I just had this feeling that "10+ starts in the SEC West > 4.45 times by QB." Yet, I always defer to coach's choice. It appears now that coach is facing just that very choice: experience vs speed.

Still, this is where I follow the cagey PGA pro, Chi-Chi Rodriguez, who said: "I'll take old age & treachery OVER youth & vigor any day." Me, too, Chi-Chi. Me, too.

Gig'em, Aggies!
Beat the HELL Outta Miami!!
laruejd
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
QB is not the only problem with this offense. Watch offensive line on a running play.
I am also wondering if Max can jump for the high snap like King does? Is it coming at my gut or above my head?
laruejd
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Easy mistake to make Paul, he was supposed to be a Sr. leader this year. Imagine having Spiller, Wydermeyer and DeMarvin Leal as Sr. Captains this year. Imagine having Elko as DC and Henson as offensive line coach. A lot of Change and not much Hope, lol.
laruejd
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
"We were on time for everything the next day," explained offensive lineman Layden Robinson". I am sure that was a welcome change for the coaching staff.
JimAggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
ProAg07 said:

Replying to the title only, no it doesn't
Needs to higher an OC
Doesn't matter if he's a higher OC or a lower OC, I just hope Jimbo hires a GREAT OC.
dr_java
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
laruejd said:

Hire?
Higher. I think it provides the necessary context for the poster.
BrotherChad
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Why comment on the TexAg articles? They don't promote our Zoo post so why support theirs? Come on Zoo!
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.