Story Poster
Jimbo Fisher
Layden Robinson
Demani Richardson
Texas A&M Football

Miami Meltdown: No. 23 A&M blown away by Canes as road woes resurface

September 9, 2023
27,549

MIAMI — Following another futile Texas A&M road trip came predictable calls for lessons to be learned.

The Miami Hurricanes (2-0) gave the No. 23 Aggies (1-1) a lesson in humility while dealing them a 48-33 college football loss on Saturday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.

“I feel this loss is just going to make us stronger,” safety Demani Richardson said. “I know we’ll bounce back. We’re going to learn from this.”

Added guard Layden Robinson: “We can learn that we need to be better on the little things. They made mistakes. We made mistakes. They just executed on our mistakes a lot more than we did.”

However, the hopeful Aggie fans could perhaps learn a more poignant lesson from South Carolina.

Three times in their history the Gamecocks hired coaches that previously won national championships. But neither Paul Deitzel, Lou Holtz nor Steve Spurrier would win a championship in Columbia.

“We ain’t worried about expectations. We’ve got to worry about next week. We shouldn’t adjust to anything. What we need to do is go focus and play a good game next week and get better the next week and the next week and the next week.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

The obvious lesson: Hiring a national championship coach doesn’t always equate to winning one.

That fact should resonate with Aggies more than ever. Six years ago Jimbo Fisher, who won a national crown at Florida State, was brought to College Station to make A&M a championship contender.

Instead of championships, A&M has gotten catch-phrases and disappointment. The Aggies ain’t done (nothing) yet.

The meltdown in Miami suggests the Aggies haven’t gotten much closer to elite status. A&M was given two gift touchdowns and an early 17-7 lead, but still faded in the second half amid a fog of turnovers, missed tackles and special teams gaffes.

Sure, it’s only one of a dozen games. Still, a season with such high hopes and expectations suddenly seems fragile.

If Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke can riddle the Aggies for 374 yards and five touchdowns, what awaits in the more treacherous SEC?

Should long-suffering Aggies adjust their expectations?

“We ain’t worried about expectations,” Fisher said in a postgame press conference. “We’ve got to worry about next week. We shouldn’t adjust to anything. What we need to do is go focus and play a good game next week and get better the next week and the next week and the next week.”

Quite frankly, it shouldn’t be hard for the Aggies to get better.

They slopped through a disgusting first half and — despite incredible generosity from Miami — somehow trailed 21-17 at the break.  

Aided by a blocked punt and a fumbled punt, A&M only had to cover 24 yards for two first-half touchdowns. Other than that, the Aggies managed 124 total yards. Thirty-eight of those came on a swing pass to Rueben Owens and a 14-yard Conner Weigman scramble. A&M averaged 3.1 yards on 27 other players.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
The last time A&M won on another opponent’s field was against Missouri in October 2021.

The Aggie defense, especially the secondary, was worse.

They struggled to cover. They struggled to tackle. Van Dyke passed for three touchdowns in the first half. The third was an 11-yard dart with 13 seconds left until halftime. It capped a 75-yard drive that took only 44 seconds.

A missed tackle which turned a short pass into a 32-yard gain was a backbreaker. Overall, Miami receivers accumulated a whopping 241 yards-after-catch.

“We had guys we could’ve tackled,” Fisher said. “We tackled poor in space. They had yards after catch.

“We had some guys with arms around them. We just didn’t make the plays and get them on the ground.”

The Aggies looked like they might correct their mistakes in the second half. Instead, they just made new ones.

Their opening second-half possession reached Miami’s 6-yard line. The Aggies were going for a first down on fourth-and-one, but were penalized for a false start. They settled for a short field goal.

Miami returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and a 28-20 lead.

Four plays later, Weigman threw his first interception when Ainias Smith slipped on the soggy turf. That led to a Miami field goal.

The Aggies responded with a drive for a Weigman touchdown pass to Earnest Crownover. Trailing 31-26, Fisher opted to go for a two-point conversion. The ball was snapped early and away from Weigman. The play failed.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
The Aggies only converted on eight of 18 third downs on Saturday afternoon.

Fisher blamed the Hurricanes for that.

“The ball got snapped early because they simulated the snap count,” he said. “They clapped their hands and we snapped the ball.”

The Aggies could only blame themselves the rest of the way. Amari Daniels lost a fumble on third-and-1. That led to a Miami touchdown and a 38-26 lead.

The Hurricanes outscored A&M 17-7 in the fourth quarter as the Aggies suffered their seventh consecutive road loss.

With apologies to legendary Aggie song writer Robert Earl Keen: “The road goes on forever and the Aggies never win.”
At least, it seems that way.

Fortunately, the Aggies don’t take a true road trip again until they visit Tennessee on Oct. 14. They’ve got to get better long before that, though.

That starts with tackling and better protecting Weigman, who was frequently under pressure.

“Discipline is a big part of it,” Robinson said of A&M’s blocking issues. “Those little things that hurt us … that’s all discipline. Foot work. Hand placement. Firing off the ball. Not being mesmerized by the stunts that they do up front. That all takes discipline. We just need to become a more disciplined team.”

None of the legions of frustrated Aggies would question that. They question is why, in Fisher’s sixth season, are they not?

Discussion from...

Miami Meltdown: No. 23 A&M blown away by Canes as road woes resurface

19,244 Views | 29 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by LMCane
JohnLA762
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AG
No hope for Aggies…
Angry Beaver
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Quote:

Discipline is a big part of it. Those little things that hurt us … that's all discipline. Foot work. Hand placement. Firing off the ball. Not being mesmerized by the stunts that they do up front. That all takes discipline. We just need to become a more disciplined team.


Wow. How can we have all these players back and still lack the most important skill?!?
TokyoAggie
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Can we ask for Jimbo's national championship boots back now?
Fishwrangler11
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Thank you Olin for your always unfiltered feedback (seriously). This was a bad game. They can get better…thanks to a bad SEC West. There's a path ahead, but it's not a traditional Jimbo ball control team way. They've got to light up the scoreboard with their offensive talent since this is a below average defense. If they can just manage 9 wins somehow this season, I think it may be enough to win the West and get us to next season so our talent doesn't leave.
txagman1998
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Quote:

Thank you Olin for your always unfiltered feedback (seriously).


Agreed. And it says a lot about the state of the program and the mood of the fan base that TexAgs, which could put its athletic department access at risk if it is too critical, greenlit an article that all but questions whether Jimbo is the right man for the job.
geoag58
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Durkin should be gone tomorrow and fisher should be nothing more than recruiting coordinator from here on out. And Olin until you and the rest of the football talking heads call for the necessary changes you are part of the problem.
Bigbird
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This one hurt. I got sucked in to believing we had a real chance at being nationally relevant this year. Was at my uncle's funeral in Mississippi today, so got to enjoy the ridicule of "overpaying for losses" from fans of Clemson, Ole Miss, State, LSU, and my cousin who went t.u.
Hey Nav
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Very disappointed in the the play of the DBs. They are soft.

The OL - we keep hearing about how big and incredible they are. They are soft and slow. They don't pass protect. They don't run block.

Yikes.

Time to man up and play football. Time to man up and coach.
aggiepilot15
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Same problems from last year. DJ Durkin is an absolutely pathetic defensive coordinator. No pressure on Tyle Van Dyke, horrendous tackling, and we couldn't keep up with Miami receivers to save our lives. Steve Addazio should also be fired. Offensive line looked like absolute crap. Couldn't pick up any blitzes or open things up for the running backs consistently. Hate to say it but the Ags are never going to get over the hump. The proof has been in the pudding for a decade.
sharpdressedman
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SOS. New chapter of a lousy book.
DGrimesAg92
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"We shouldn't adjust to anything"

Speaks ****ing VOLUMES!!!!
el_guapo
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Same ol same ol.
Oh, but with more money spent.
And more 5 stars.

Same ol same ol
Aggiesdm95
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Best article I've read in a long time! 100% accurate! Year 6 with top level talent and can't win a road game. Our defense made Van Dyke look like Marino!

No excuses now….every coach on the team should be embarrassed and probably on the chopping block. Sad day for Aggie football in a year where we were supposed to be "in the hunt".
TAMU74
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Good article Olin. Spot on.
I'm gonna stop at that because what I'd really like to say would probably get me banned.
All I say is that I've heard this same $*** from former Aggie coaches for decades.
I'm sick of hearing it.
Ag82
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Sumlin was often better on the road than at home. Jimbo is better at home than on the road. I have wondered why? It has to be about preparation but I am curious about the difference
BossAgs
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Hire Deon or a coach that is not afraid to make changes mid season. The talent is there but the coaching and defensive scheme is not there. The team is poorly coached
Gilligan
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BossAgs said:

Hire Deon or a coach that is not afraid to make changes mid season. The talent is there but the coaching and defensive scheme is not there. The team is poorly coached


The team is poorly coached. This is all that needs to be said.

Next year…
taylorswift13
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Olin you said we'd win easily and that they were no match for our defense. I guess you were right about the second part… for opposite reasons
jt16
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With all due respect to demani he should have gone pro. His bad coverage skills have been exposed this year. New Mexico found a slot vs DR match up but couldn't exploit it. Miami was good enough to do it. DR is too slow in coverage. Now why is our scheme allowing DR to match up against the slot? Durkin still hasn't figured that out.
TMF
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There is zero reason for hope until big changes are made. He has only done 1 of 3. We know the other significant changes needed. Will he chose his friends or the program?
javiswavi
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Poor defensive strategy. Big slow Miami QB. We rarely blitzed which allowed big slow Van Dyke to pick us apart without having to scramble. Durkin was given keys to a Ferrari and he has crashed and burned it. Time for a new defense coordinator with an aggressive scheme.
CapCity12thMan
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hold the rope
K21993-PClan2004
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I'm running out of years for actually seeing a football national title in the modern era with my own eyes. Never thought after the late 80s/early 90s that we would be this mediocre for so long. Extremely disappointing.
northeastag
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This is a brutally negative article, and I'm surprised to see it. Even the headline is tough ("blown Away") It makes me wonder what will be printed at the end of the year if we have another middling to poor overall year. Plenty of language suggesting that Jimbo just isn't the guy to get it done, and that's almost shocking to see when there is so much time left on his massive contract.
Bassinagfan
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6-7 with a toilet bowl loss.
Formerly Known as Powerstroke Ag
orag80
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I told my brother at halftime that there are some obvious adjustments we need to make (blitz more / more pressure, counter their corner blitzes with effective play calling) and that hopefully it was also obvious to our coaching staff. Apparently it wasn't. We made ZERO adjustments and were committed to the same failed approach…like democrats.
Acts 2:38...this means you!
MagnumLoad
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There are a number of things we could have done on offense to counter their corner blitz. Play calls and throwing where the blitz came from. We did some but not enough. But this loss was on the defense. Conner made some great throws under extreme pressure and getting hit. But Durkin is awful. Fisher said in his post game presser that Miami brought more numbers than we could block, correctly so. My question to him would gave been, hey that is a great idea, why didn't we do that? We have a very good DL, but 3 or 4 against 5 or more blockers usually won't get there soon enough. My observation though the years is that no secondary can be successful against the pass without real pressure on the qb, to include multiple sacks. We have something like 2 sacks in 2 weeks with a 5 star studded DL. Any D1 qb will beat you given time to throw. Durkin has no clue how to scheme up effective blitzes. He is Fisher's hire. If Fisher cannot see this problem, or will not do something about it, he should be fired. I would demote Durkin and turn it over to Robinson as a minimum, if Durkin doesn't get it together asap. It is stupid to flush a season because of a bad DC. The old I will evaluate at the end of the season is a losing approach.
I hate tu. It's in my blood.
ironmanag
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You hire nothing but coaches with character issues and you get teams with no character.
According to the Biden White House, what Joe Biden says does not represent the official position of the Biden administration.
LMCane
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LOL Tyler Van Dyme is a much better quarterback than most of the SEC quarterbacks!

what is this author smoking?

Auburn literally only beat a cr@ptastic Cal program because their kicker missed 3 field goals!!
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