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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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Offensive struggles control the Aggies against Mississippi State

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Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Sophomore WR Moose Muhammad III (7) drops the ball during the Southwest Classic on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

An offense that has relied heavily on senior wide receiver Ainias Smith and junior running back Devon Achane is now down to just one of the power duo.
However, can one man control the true identity of an entire offense?
On Oct. 1, No. 17 Texas A&M lost in an upset to Mississippi State 42-24 in Starkville, Miss., to bring its overall record to 3-2 for the season, 1-1 in SEC conference play.
Unlike individual sports such as golf and tennis, football is a team sport that requires all players to perform their required assignments to complete the task at hand: winning.
In the first half, Achane accumulated the majority of the Aggies’ yards as he received three of the five total completions and rushed for 70 yards on seven carries alone.
A&M’s offense suffered from a lack of involvement from the rest of the team on offense and as usual, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said failure to execute was to blame in the first half.
“The plays are there, and we’re there,” Fisher said. We’ve just got to execute, and we’ve got to coach them better. This system is the same system a lot of people use. The plays are there.”
Similar to the Southwest Classic, the Aggies caused too many “self-inflicted wounds,” but this time, were just too much to bear.
They had four total turnovers all game which included two interceptions from both junior sophomore quarterback Haynes King, who subbed in for junior Max Johnson after an apparent hand injury that caused him to leave the game. The other two were fumbles, one of them after Fisher decided to give the ball to the talented but fatigued Achane.
The cowbells seemed to work their magic on the freshmen, as well.
Freshman receiver Evan Stewart went for a one-handed catch late in the fourth quarter that resulted in an interception falling into the lap of MSU junior defensive back Emmanuel Forbes. Earlier that game, Stewart had an opportunity to score his second touchdown of the season on a first and goal that he dropped.
“[Stewart] didn’t do them on purpose,” Fisher said. “He works hard and plays hard, and we’ll look at them and see what we’re doing.”
As for the offensive line, they didn’t help this offense develop any routine or plays. They gave up seven quarterback hurries, six tackles for loss and four sacks. Blocking aside, a number of bad snaps from sophomore center Bryce Foster put the offense behind every play.
“Foster is very reliable,” Fisher said. “It might be a technical thing … There’s a number of reasons why that happens.”
The snaps have continued to affect the maroon and white offense since Foster’s return from mononucleosis. Hopefully, the coaching staff can help figure out the reason for the low snaps before its next matchup on Oct. 8.
With how bad the offense performed in this must-win matchup against Mississippi State, one Aggie stepped up and showed his strength in character in their second loss of the season.
Sophomore wide receiver Moose Muhammad III caught six passes for 119 yards and secured a touchdown in the loss after his struggles against Arkansas the week before.
Overall, the offense underperformed. Many people are now questioning the future of the program as it lies in the hands of Fisher. The Aggies have a lot to fix before their next matchup against Nick Saban and his No. 1 Crimson Tide.

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