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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

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)
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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).
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

David versus David

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Freshman LB Le’Veon Moss (22) warms up before the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The tale of this year’s Texas A&M football team has been one of disappointment. A brunt of the disappointment has been directed at coach Jimbo Fisher and the struggles of A&M’s offense. Outside of excellent junior running back Devon Achane, every other aspect of the unit has struggled.

The Aggies’ offense has also experienced a lot of turnover due to various suspensions, benchings and injuries. The most prominent example of this is at the quarterback position, where A&M has so far has had three different starters. 

Last week’s game against Auburn was no different as the unit continued its lackluster play. A&M’s 13-10 loss dropped its record to 3-7 and was its sixth loss in a row.

For most of the game, A&M’s offense struggled to even get points on the board, as it scored all of its points in the fourth quarter. There wasn’t a single aspect of the game where A&M’s offense excelled, as its rushing attack wasn’t the same due to the absence of junior running back Devon Achane, and true freshman quarterback Conner Weigman struggled mightily. Weigman only managed to complete 14 of his 36 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Fisher put some of the blame for A&M’s offensive struggles on the coaching staff.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” Fisher said. “Offensively, we did not perform very well. Did not do the things we needed to do. [We have] got to get them in better [positions] and coach better.”

A&M has the privilege of hosting the University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 19. For the season, UMass’ record stands at 1-9. With its lone win coming on a 20-3 victory against Stony Brook. Somehow, A&M has managed to find itself an opponent that is struggling more than they are.

The issue for UMass this season has been that they give up a lot of points on defense. The unit gives up an average of 30 points per game, so it would appear A&M has an opportunity to find success on Saturday. 

The defensive player to watch out for on the Minutemen is defensive lineman Marcus Cushnie. The redshirt senior has accumulated 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in his 2022 campaign. A&M’s offensive line struggles have been well documented, so expect Cushnie to play well if its struggles were to continue.

Fisher pushed back against the idea that this week’s matchup against UMass will be an easy one, saying they are a team A&M has to take seriously.

“Any game is a good time to reset,” Fisher said. “I say a reset, this is a game against a [team] that [causes] a lot of [issues]. A lot of different fronts [and] blitzes. They’re a very tough team to prepare for, and we need to prepare very well.”

Another issue for A&M’s offense is Achane’s health. Fisher said he expects the star running back to return this season but didn’t comment on his availability for Saturday’s game. Achane’s return would give the offense a much-needed shot in the arm as the team enters the home stretch of its regular season.

Saturday’s matchup against the Minutemen would seem to line up well for a maroon and white offense as it looks to build momentum for both next week’s game against No. 6 LSU and their 2023 season.

Senior receiver Jalen Preston said A&M’s looking at its game against UMass as a chance to show they are better than its 3-7 record would indicate.

“We’re playing to get this chip off our shoulder,” Preston said. “Obviously, we’ve been losing, and we’re just trying to prove something. With UMass coming up, hopefully we can come out here and dominate them.”

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