Story Poster
Jimbo Fisher
Layden Robinson
Edgerrin Cooper
Texas A&M Football

Futile second half allows Gators to roll as A&M drops fifth-straight contest

November 5, 2022

Not even on a picture-perfect, cloudless Saturday could enough sunshine be pumped to brighten a dismal debacle at Kyle Field.

There was no bright side to Texas A&M’s 41-24 Southeastern Conference football loss to Florida. There was no silver lining. There was no consolation.

There was no positive spin. That is unless it’s the spin of a positively disastrous football season spiraling down the drain.

The Aggies (3-6, 1-5) suffered their fifth-consecutive defeat. Unlike in many of the previous losses, there was no source of solace.

Four of their previous losses had been by six points or less. This time, they were blown out.

Their last four losses were to opponents that were — or would be — nationally ranked. Florida (5-4, 2-4) entered the clash seemingly with as many issues as the Aggies, if not more.

The Gators were ranked 117th in the nation in total defense. They looked like the Steel Curtain in the second half when A&M’s offense went into a coma.

The Aggies couldn’t even rely on what originally seemed like a tailor-made excuse for futility.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Haynes King took the field as the A&M starter, completing 23-of-45 passes.

An outbreak of influenza swept through the team last week. Several players — including emerging freshman quarterback Conner Weigman — were infected.

A week ago, Weigman made his first career start. He passed for 308 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Ole Miss. He hoped to play against Florida but couldn’t.

“There was nobody more disappointed than he was,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He’d say, ‘Coach, I’m going to play,’ and then throw up.”

Most of the 97,797 at Kyle Field probably experienced similar urges to hurl. But not until a nauseating second half.

Despite the absence of Weigman and freshman left guard Kam Dewberry — who came down with the flu on Thursday — the Aggies came out strong.

Devon Achane broke loose for a 65-yard gain on the Aggies’ first offensive play. Achane rushed for 105 yards in the first half alone.

Quarterback Haynes King was just as effective. In the first half, he completed 18-of-19 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown to Achane.

Achane and King staked the Aggies to a 24-20 halftime lead. They were also receiving the second-half kickoff, so there was potential to immediately add to the margin.

But King passed up an opportunity to run for yardage on first down. Instead, he threw incomplete. He threw incomplete eight times on 11 attempts in the third quarter.

The Aggies managed just 29 total yards in the third quarter.

“They came out in the half with something different,” junior guard Layden Robinson said. “We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. Making MA’s (missed assignments), making mistakes. We had some plays that really could have hit for big yardage, but we didn’t execute the blocks, or something happened.”

“It was disappointing. We felt good about adjustments. We felt good about what we were doing. We still feel like things were there. We’ve just got to look and see what we didn’t do, exactly.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

What exactly happened — or didn’t happen — in the second half? The Aggies didn’t seem to know for sure.

“It was disappointing,” Fisher said. “We felt good about adjustments. We felt good about what we were doing. We still feel like things were there. We’ve just got to look and see what we didn’t do, exactly.”

Florida quickly capitalized. Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to put A&M in a 34-24 deficit.

Those were just two of four touchdowns for which Richardson was responsible. In the first half, he exploited A&M’s porous defense for touchdowns dashes of 10 and 60 yards.

Just like Ole Miss a week ago, the Gators ran up and down the field seemingly at will. They rolled up 291 yards on the ground.

The fourth quarter was like blood leaking out of a dying body.

The Aggies made a few plays against a relaxed Florida defense, but the back-to-back series ended with King fumbling when sacked.

The Aggies must now win their final three games — against Auburn, Massachusetts and LSU — just to be bowl eligible. That seems more and more unlikely.

But A&M should at least be healthier next week. Weigman should be back. Several other players will be, too.

Also, Auburn, too, entered Saturday on a four-game losing streak, so the Tigers are obviously beatable. They might be struggling even more than A&M.

That’s probably the only bright side even the most ardent sunshine pumper could find.

Discussion from...

Futile second half allows Gators to roll as A&M drops fifth-straight contest

6,232 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by 68RebelE
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first play of 2nd half summed up the second half… King rolls right, no one there… i mean no one, no one for a&m and no one for florida… easily could have ran 5-10 yards and scooted out of bounds.. but instead King throws it into the stands… now 2nd and 10… and the first of many 3 and outs
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Yep. Couldn't believe he launched that out of bounds with no one around instead of tucking it and picking up at least 5 yds.
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Listened on the radio. Jimbo had just said "we need a good drive to start the half". We go 3 & Out, good punt return, and 2 plays later Florida TD. Andrew Monaco then says "you wonder why you're 3-5". 5 minutes that sum up our entire season.
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has anyone heard from the athletic director about how bad he was taken in by jimbum? the guy should be tarred and feathered for the deal he gave that bum of a coach
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18 year old kids playing 20 year old redshirt sophomores & juniors that have had three years conditioning at this level. Competitive in the first half, body's run out of steam in the second half. It's what happens when you play 29 freshmen.
Thought Smoke Bouie, true freshman at right corner, looked the second half.
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