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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Spring football is in the air in Aggieland

Texas A&M football fans will get an early glimpse of the 2009 Aggie football team Saturday.
In the annual Maroon & White Game at Kyle Field, A&M will play a split squad scrimmage to show the 12th Man how returning starters, new players and second-year Head Coach Mike Sherman have faired in spring practices.
For many Aggie fans, Sherman’s first season at the helm could have been better. A&M went 4-8 in 2008 and finished with a 2-6 conference record, the worst Big 12 record in school history. Sherman also lost a record five games at Kyle Field, the same number of home games A&M lost in Sherman’s seven seasons as an assistant coach.
“We looked back at everything we did and how we did it and how we can do things better,” Sherman said. “We really looked hard at how we start and finish games. I thought we were slow starters and not great finishers at time. We talked in many meetings this spring about starting fast and finishing strong.”
Junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson said he is confident going into the season after having a rough time in 2008. Johnson said the trials will help the returning players in the year ahead.
“We had a lot of young guys playing last year,” Johnson said. “I think a lot of us grew up together and I think that’s definitely going to show next year. It’s already starting to show in the spring. We feel a lot older and a lot more mature. I think we’re going to have a lot of success in the future.”
Offensively, the Aggies returned 75 percent of their offensive lineup from 2008.
Johnson started in 10 games, throwing for 2,435 yards and a school record 21 touchdowns this past season. The junior also set an A&M record for most passing yards in a game when he threw for 419 against Kansas State.
Despite Johnson’s success, the Aggie offense was stagnant, ranking No. 11 in the Big 12 in scoring and total offensive yards.
“Thinking back on last year I guess I did accomplish a little bit, but one thing that just stays in mind is our record,” Johnson said. “You’re only judged by how many games you win.”
Sherman said he put too much pressure on Johnson in his first year as quarterback.
“You have to understand he was processing a lot of information,” Sherman said. “Jerrod really hadn’t played a whole lot since high school. He’s a very bright kid, but there was a lot on the quarterback. I think he’ll be a better player this year the more we take off of him.”
The success of A&M’s attack will depend on the offensive line. Johnson struggled behind an offensive line that gave up a Big 12-worst 39 sacks in 2008.
“We’re not just a dominant group right now and we’re going to work to that point,” Sherman said. “Any championship team that I’ve ever been has had good offensive linemen and defensive linemen. We looked hard in our recruiting to make sure we build our team from the inside out.”
Defensively, Sherman and defensive coordinator Joe Kines will look to simplify the defense to improve a squad that finished last in the Big 12 in points allowed.
“I think our defense has improved,” Sherman said. “We have a bunch of young guys in there, but they seem to grab a hold of the concepts sooner than we did last year.”
Maroon & White scheduleTours of the Cox-McFerrin Center9-11 a.m. at Reed Arena
Football team autograph session10:45 a.m.-noon at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium
Maroon & White Game2 p.m. at Kyle Field

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