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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

That’s all, folks

Bryan Johnson -- THE BATTALION
Yell leaders lead the football team onto the field before the A&M vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe game. 
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION Yell leaders lead the football team onto the field before the A&M vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe game. 

After their worst loss in over 10 years, the hope was that the Aggies would head into the bye week, circle the wagons and start to have some semblance of a football team when ULM arrived in College Station. What happened was nothing of the sort.
While the fans were excited about the supposed quarterback competition during the week leading up to Saturday and the breaking news Thursday that Kyle Allen had supposedly beat out Kenny Hill, we learned Saturday morning that Hill had earned himself a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules, making Allen the de-facto starter regardless of any sort of “competition.”
Not exactly the news you want after your team is effectively de-pantsed 59-0 on national television. But have no fear, Kyle Allen’s going to swoop in and save the day, right? Wrong.
Despite the talk of “getting back to A&M football,” what we got Saturday was more of the lost, helpless, incompetent play that we were accustomed to seeing the previous three weeks. Allen was no more effective behind center than Hill, and I would argue even less so. If Speedy Noil didn’t have a clutch 39-yard punt return and a, well, interesting (read: lucky) touchdown catch, then A&M loses the game.
This team lacks an identity. It has nothing to define it. We’re an “Air Raid” team, yet we worked out of the pistol almost exclusively against ULM and ran the ball most of the time. On defense, we have a great pass rusher in Myles Garrett, but beyond that, most of the play on the back end shows minimal aggressiveness.
Hopefully you got up early and made it to Kyle on Saturday, because with the exception of maybe the bowl game, it’s probably the last game these Aggies are going to win. After seeing what Auburn did to Ole Miss, I wouldn’t be surprised if they put up over 700 yards on us. It could be ugly.
Whatever momentum this program built the last two years, it has evaporated in a hurry. It’s losing players faster than you can say “Johnny Football,” and it’s not going to get better overnight. If there’s any doubt discipline is an issue on this team, Hill is just the latest example of an issue that’s been ongoing the past two years.
Four players suspended for the first two games in 2013. Two defensive players kicked off and one transferring in the offseason, all who would have likely started. Now your starting quarterback is suspended. All of those issues without even touching Johnny Manziel’s antics. There seems to be problems with this team that go beneath the surface.
When the offseason gets here, Sumlin is going to have to take a hard look at this program and the direction that it’s headed. More than one or two changes to the staff need to be made, recruiting be damned. Programs aren’t supposed to move backward but from South Carolina onward that’s the only thing that A&M has done.
In the SEC, there’s not much room at the top, and if you keep taking steps down the ladder, pretty soon you’ll find yourself clinging to the bottom rung.
Patrick Crank is a telecommunication media studies senior and football editor for The Battalion.

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