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Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: South Carolina 30, Texas A&M 24

October 23, 2022
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Looking back on what was learned, loved and loathed in Texas A&M’s 30-24 college football loss to South Carolina on Saturday:

Learned

The Aggies are a poor road team. A&M (3-4) has struggled throughout the season, but three of four losses have come in road games. A loss at Mississippi State wasn’t too surprising considering A&M’s history in Starkville. A close loss at Alabama actually created hope that the season could be salvaged. Falling to a mediocre South Carolina erased any optimism gleaned at Alabama. Fortunately, a trip to lowly Auburn is only one road game remaining on the schedule. Even in that game, a victory cannot be assumed.

A bowl appearance isn’t assured. Just six victories are required to qualify for postseason play. Typically, only the most inept teams are left out. A&M’s bowl hopes are in serious jeopardy. Three more victories are needed. A November clash with Massachusetts is a gimme, but two more wins would be needed. Even if the Aggies prevail at Auburn, they’d still need a win over Ole Miss, Florida or LSU. Florida would be the most likely victory in that group.

A&M might be the nation’s most disappointing team. It’s hard to believe A&M opened the season ranked No. 6 in the national polls. Few teams have been a bigger bust than the Aggies. A Week Two loss to Appalachian State, which last week fell to Texas State, signaled tough times may be ahead for A&M. A third consecutive defeat to a so-so opponent suggests A&M may be on the verge of a collapse. Maybe Notre Dame, which also entered the season in the top 10, is more disappointing than A&M, but that’s up for debate.

Loved

Randy Bond. Though he wasn’t originally the Aggies' No. 1 placekicker, he’s emerged as a good one. Bond went three-for-three on field goal attempts. That included a 51-yarder. He’s become as reliable as anybody on the A&M roster.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Sophomore DL Fadil Diggs has forced three fumbles in his last two games.

Forcing fumbles. The Aggies are developing a knack for forcing fumbles. They forced two against South Carolina. Safety Bryce Anderson recovered a fumble that Jardin Gilbert forced to set up a field goal. Defensive end Fadil Diggs sacked South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler and forced a fumble which Anderson also recovered. That led to a touchdown. Diggs has three sacks and has forced three fumbles in the last two games. Overall, the Aggies have forced and recovered at least one fumble in each of the last five games.

Max effort. Make that tight end Max Wright’s effort. On third-and-goal from the nine-yard line, Wright caught an eight-yard pass from quarterback Haynes King. Though it appeared he would be tackled short of the end zone, Wright reached out to extend the football over the goal line and get the touchdown that enabled the Aggies to pull within 17-14 two minutes before halftime. It was the second touchdown of Wright’s career. The other one was also against South Carolina two seasons ago.

Loathed

Poor starts. A&M has a tendency to get off to slow starts, but the start at South Carolina may have been the all-time worst. The Aggies allowed a touchdown on the opening kickoff. On the ensuing series, Haynes King threw an interception that was returned to the A&M five-yard line. South Carolina settled for a field goal. On the third play of the next series, center Matthew Wykoff prematurely snapped the football to cause a fumble that South Carolina recovered and returned to the 19-yard line. The Gamecocks scored a touchdown four plays later. Just like that, A&M faced a 17-0 deficit just five minutes and nine seconds into the game.

Offensive futility. “Execution” has become a buzzword for A&M’s offensive dysfunction. Week after week, coach Jimbo Fisher vaguely blames execution for failures to score. He doesn’t seem to have an answer for why the Aggies consistently fail to execute. The bottom line is they’re among the lowest-scoring teams in the nation. A&M is ranked 109th nationally in scoring offense. Perhaps even more sobering, A&M has failed to score more than 24 points in eight consecutive games against Power Five opponents.

False starts. As if the offense didn’t have enough problems moving the football, the Aggies made it even tougher on themselves with pre-snap penalties. They were flagged eight times for false starts. Although, to be fair, “only” seven were against the offense. One occurred on special teams.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: South Carolina 30, Texas A&M 24

8,961 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by aggieclay
PyriteAg
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AG
Thank you for just being blunt about the offensive woes. Considering how A&M sports guys like TexAgs staff and Brent are just being clear about this now, I'm guessing the pressure is finally starting to truly mount up from the admin side also.
mac36
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Poorly prepared. Poorly designed 1990's offense. Poorly executed. Poorly coached.
And whoever extended this clowns contract with the ridiculous buyout numbers should be fired immediately.
SABUILDERAG
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Loathed - Media laying down and not calling Jimbo out for this debacle.
cupcakesprinkles
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AG
Just need to execute the playbook!

And by execute I mean it needs to be burned with fire.
_mpaul
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AG
mac36 said:

1990's offense.
Why do people keep saying this? Jimbo's offense looks absolutely nothing like what we did in the 90s.

- we didn't run out of shotgun
- we didn't have RPOs
- we didn't throw WR screens

It was the opposite of a "very complicated offense" for which everyone now gives Jimbo crap. In fact, I'd love to have the 1990s offenses right about now.
Paper. An insane deer. Taco meat.
ICN2U
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AG
The Aggie's offense is like trying to drive a car made from 5 different brands of vehicles. Complex and dysfunctional.
aggieclay
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I don't like the offensive system, but we ran the same stuff in '20 and should've been in the playoffs. All of this season's poop show begins with the OL.
Ag_EE_88
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AG
Pretty sure we aren't good at home either. We lost to the mighty App. State at home.
94 Aggie
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Learned - Teams that make self inflicted errors cannot win.
Loathed - The Special Teams Kickoff return that became the difference in the game.
Loved - The effort and that team did not quit!
Class of 94. We never lost at Kyle Field!
aggieclay
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We had a ton of success with Spiller and Achane splitting carries. Why not involve Moss more?
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