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

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

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

23-3: No longer in our hands

Photo by photo by Jenna Rabel
Students A&M vs Ole Miss

At least it wasn’t 59-0.

In a de facto SEC West elimination game, A&M walked into Oxford, Miss. just to be dominated in just about every facet of the contest in a 23-3 loss. 

This week is sure to be full of many questions for head coach Kevin Sumlin, the team and the coaching staff. 

Here is what went wrong, what actually went right and where the Aggies stand now after the loss to Ole Miss.

What went wrong?

Simply put, Not much more could have gone wrong in Oxford on Saturday night. Kyle Allen was ineffective (12-34, 88 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT), overthrowing to the open receivers, lofting the ball into double or even triple coverage and looking every bit like a quarterback who has lost all his confidence. At one point, he threw 14 straight incompletions. Third stringer Jake Hubenak came in during the fourth quarter with A&M down 20 points and showed his ability to at least move the ball for positive yardage. The biggest question fans have for Sumlin is this — why leave a clearly ineffective Allen in for so long? Why wait until A&M was down 20 points in the fourth quarter to insert Hubenak? It is one of the many questions Sumlin will likely face this week. Another issue was the number of penalties. A&M totaled 13 penalties for 100 yards. Last week, turnovers were the issue. This week, it was the penalties that essentially gave Ole Miss free yardage and extra plays. Play calling was the final and possibly one of the biggest issues. The Aggie offense has no identity right now. It seems as if they just want to throw screens and get the ball into their playmakers hands as much as possible. That works against teams like Ball State or Arizona State, but not SEC defenses like Alabama or Ole Miss. There is too much speed and talent to do that. The biggest thing this week is for A&M’s offense to find itself an identity and a quarterback who they want to lead it. 

What went right?

On a night where it was hard to find a bright spot, there was one — the defense. When an offense continuously goes three-and-out, it makes the defense’s job exponentially tougher. However, even with the offensive struggles — surrendering 471 total yards of offense and allowing 23 points on the scoreboard — the defense kept A&M within reach of the Rebels all game. The defense held their own when Ole Miss had the ball deep in Aggie territory by making the Rebels settle for field goals and forcing four turnovers on the night. A&M actually won the turnover battle 4 to 3. 

Armani Watts proved himself to be a star at the safety position, flying around all night to tally 20 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and recovery on an impressive strip play as he took Ole Miss’ Jordan Wilkins to the ground and got an interception. Myles Garrett had another “Myles Garrett type of game,” making trouble for the Ole Miss backfield all night long, totaling two tackle for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. Time and time again, the defense kept A&M in position to make a comeback. The defense did their job and then some on Saturday night. If one thing was clear about the Aggies, it was that the defense is very solid and John Chavis is earning his paycheck. 

Where do they stand now?

After a loss like that in a game of that magnitude, the Aggies are all but eliminated from the SEC West race. Barring a historic collapse by Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss, with A&M winning out all its next games (including at LSU), A&M’s chances for Atlanta are pretty much done. There is still a lot to play for, such as a more prestigious bowl game. They are a low-end top-25 team, and should finish the year ranked such as the schedule lightens up a bit. However, the playoff chances and SEC title hopes are all but gone for the Aggies.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Kyle Allen A&M vs Ole Miss

    Photo by Photo by Jenna Rabel
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *