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

A&M prevails over UMass in cold, wet conditions to end six-game skid

November 19, 2022
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The starving will welcome any meal. But not every meal — just like not every football victory — is the same.

Dinner can be a medium rare T-bone. It can also be a bowl of gruel. An epicurean isn’t needed to distinguish the difference.

That’s why the bowl of gruel that was Texas A&M’s lackluster 20-3 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday is more a reason for frustration than a cause for celebration.

It doesn’t matter that A&M (4-7) ended a six-game losing streak. Beating UMass was just an aspirin for a severe migraine.

Of course, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher begged to differ. He seemed to equate the victory with a hard-fought Southeastern Conference triumph.

“Our kids played their hearts out. They played tough and did the things they had to do to win the game. Any win you have is a win. I’m proud of our kids for doing it.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

“Any win is a great win, and it’s a really good win,” Fisher maintained.

And, of course, players parroted that proclamation.

“It’s always good to get a win,” junior guard Layden Robinson said. “You don’t take those for granted because they’re hard to come by, especially in this league.”

That’s just it. UMass literally isn’t in the Southeastern Conference. And UMass figuratively isn’t — or shouldn’t be — in Texas A&M’s league.

Massachusetts is widely regarded as the worst of the 131 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The visiting Minutemen are 1-10. Their only victory was by 20-3 over Stony Brook, an FCS program that’s 2-9.

Yet, the Aggies and Minutemen were locked in a struggle until A&M freshman running back Le’Veon Moss broke off a 12-yard touchdown run with just over five minutes remaining.

‚Ä®With that touchdown, A&M avoided joining Stony Brook as the only Minutemen opponent to score less than 20 points. Instead, they joined Eastern Michigan, which also managed 20 of them.

A&M demands more. The Aggies aspire to be contenders in the treacherous SEC West division. Their goal is to win the West, the SEC and eventually the national championship.

In reality, competitive losses to Ole Miss and Florida — even bewildering losses to woeful South Carolina and Auburn — were more encouraging than a win over Massachusetts.

Again, Fisher doesn’t see it that way. Beating UMass, he insisted, was a victory of which to be proud.

“Our kids played their hearts out,” he said. “They played tough and did the things they had to do to win the game. Any win you have is a win. I’m proud of our kids for doing it.”

Actually, there were some encouraging elements within the game the Aggies could take pride in.

Freshman quarterback Conner Weigman had a solid performance in his third career start.

Brooke Homfeld, TexAgs
Conner Weigman’s running ability shined on Saturday when he accrued 66 yards on the ground.

He completed 11-of-19 passes for 191 yards and threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Noah Thomas.

Weigman also showed a willingness to run. While previous A&M quarterbacks have appeared hesitant to leave the pocket, Weigman scrambled for 66 yards. He would have led the Aggies in rushing had he not been sacked three times for 16 yards in losses.

“Conner is a really good athlete,” Fisher said. “You don’t say he’s 4.5 (speedster), but I mean, he’s really athletic.

“The decisions and what he can do in a game … Boots, nakeds, sprints in the pocket and throwing the football. He can do all those things. I thought he did a really nice job making really good decisions, getting what he could, getting down (to avoid tackles) and dinking and dunking the ball when he was on the edge. I thought he played really well.”

Moss did, too. He rushed for 78 yards on just 12 punishing carries. One delivered a blow at the end of a 23-yard run that sent a tackler stumbling out of bounds.

Also, Moose Muhammad returned to action after being benched last week for insisting to wear sleeves under his jersey. This time, he had tape strips to protect his arms. Muhammad had three catches 75 yards.

He had one reception for 38 yards, though he lost a fumble at the end of the play. Still, that was one of nine A&M plays that covered 20 yards or more.

The defense had a few good moments, too.

Freshman linebacker Martrell Harris forced a fumble on a sack of UMass quarterback Brady Olson.

Freshmen defensive end Malick Sylla also registered a sack.

Brooke Homfeld, TexAgs
Malick Sylla notched his first career sack.

The Aggies' defense, one of the worst against the run, only allowed 113 rushing yards. Of those, 70 were gained in the first half.

But against a grossly overmatched opponent, A&M should allow minimal rushing yards. The Aggies should get multiple sacks. They should make several big plays.

It wasn’t an impressive win. But it was a win. For Fisher, after six straight losses, that was enough.

“It (the win) reminds you what it feels like,” Fisher said. “Reminds you what it is. Things aren’t that far away. Everything goes back and forth based on how you practice and what you do, and what you do on that day. It still feels good to go do that. That’s what you’re there for. That’s the ultimate goal.”

No, the ultimate goal is a championship.

A listless win over a poor opponent is just a reminder of how far away the Aggies are.

Discussion from...

A&M prevails over UMass in cold, wet conditions to end six-game skid

5,245 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 8 days ago by Shadow of CuervoAg
Humorous Username
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AG
Olin out here dropping truth bombs.
runontexas
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Olin is the only reporter that gets it!
Camino
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runontexas said:

Olin is the only reporter that gets it!
MOST of them get it. Olin is the only one who SAYS it.
MagnumLoad
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Three fumbles going in. The conditions were a great equalizer. We dominated. Were you sitting in a heated suite or press box Olin? I was out in it. Throwing a football in those conditions is challenging.
PyriteAg
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Thank you for saying it. You are one of the few people who are clearly trying to put the pressure on Jimbo.
Meximan
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MagnumLoad said:

Three fumbles going in. The conditions were a great equalizer. We dominated. Were you sitting in a heated suite or press box Olin? I was out in it. Throwing a football in those conditions is challenging.
Struggling to eke out a 10-3 halftime lead over the literal worst team in D1A is not dominating, that's surviving.
TexasAggiesWin
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S
Excellent write up, Olin. While a win is a win (of course - would absolutely rather win than lose), this type of win against the worst team in the FBS is pathetic in year 5 of Jimbo.
MagnumLoad
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That win was not eeked out. They never had a chance and it was obvious.
Loco84
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MagnumLoad said:

That win was not eeked out. They never had a chance and it was obvious.
Felt the same way after the App St game.
Shadow of CuervoAg
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Olin is the voice for the people - he is reflecting what is on everyone's minds this year - despite having to pull his punches back a bit when asking questions in the pressers.
Do not post opposing views or you too, like me, will become a shadow of your former self.
Shadow of CuervoAg
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MagnumLoad said:

That win was not eeked out. They never had a chance and it was obvious.


You are right - that was a blowout of a lesser team and we obviously imposed our will on them. Out of respect for UMASS, we just refused to score more points and allowed them a few decent possessions to not crush their confidence. Jimbo is so altruistic.
Do not post opposing views or you too, like me, will become a shadow of your former self.
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