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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 pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Opinion: Building toward the future

Time heals all wounds,” or something like that, right? Here’s to hoping as A&M sits at 5-3 and is two weeks removed from its worst loss in over a decade. Now that the dust has settled, where do we go from here?
As crazy as it may seem, there’s still a whole third of the season left to go. A THIRD. That’s a lot of football, people, and while that may be scary the way things have been going, there are plenty of opportunities to end things on a high note down the stretch.
One thing’s for sure — things can’t get any worse. Well, maybe they can if we lose this game. I don’t really want to think about that happening, though. Talk about catastrophic. But I doubt it will, as this team is in another league compared to any Sun Belt team from a talent standpoint. And at this point, a cupcake is just what the doctor ordered to get this train back on the rails.
So what’s left to play for now that this brutal three-game spanking is behind us? Well, while it’s certainly not a given, if somehow A&M can pull 3-1 out of a hat to end the season, they’d match last year’s record at 8-4 after losing three first round picks and the greatest quarterback to ever grace college football. Despite how awful these last few weeks have been, that’s not that bad when you think about it. At this point, I’d be thrilled with 7-5, which is my personal prediction. Either way, Saturday’s game will tell us a lot about the job the coaching staff has done in getting this team ready after facing the most adversity thus far in the Kevin Sumlin era.
To me, this feels a little like the Vanderbilt game last year. After an unexpected, heartbreaking loss to Auburn, the Aggies showed up early and took it to the Commodores. Even though that game was a little closer than the final score showed, particularly at halftime, the offense put up 56 points and the defense had three turnovers and was constantly attacking. A&M has only forced six turnovers on the year, with just two interceptions. I think asking for two against ULM is completely fair, and I’ll be disappointed if the Aggie defense doesn’t have at least that many.
As for the offense, I’d love to see us put up 40 points, but I will settle for us looking somewhat competent, which hasn’t been the case in about a month. Hopefully, we’ll take out what should be a lot of pent up frustration on poor little ULM.
I can’t tell you who the starting quarterback will be Saturday — though it’s likely Kenny Hill will remain the guy — but it really shouldn’t matter. We should cut through the Warhawks like a light saber, and if we don’t, then we should happy we only need one win to be bowl eligible.
Here’s some perspective: both Ole Miss and Mississippi State had less-than-stellar records last year, finishing the regular season at 7-5 and 6-6, respectively. However, the Rebels went out and won their bowl game and carried that momentum into this season, and the Bulldogs won their last two regular season games in overtime and throttled Rice in the Liberty Bowl. Both teams are now vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff and Mississippi State has a Heisman candidate at quarterback. Funny how much difference a year makes, huh?
I’m saying that now is the time for boys to become men, to get back the swagger, to start building the house for next year and for this team to become what is was against South Carolina once again.
At this point, that’s all you can hope for.
Patrick Crank is a telecommutation media studies senior and the football editor.

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