According to national media, the Texas A&M Football team currently consists of Jimbo Fisher, a really good defense, and a backup quarterback. When Haynes King was around, his name was a part of that three-part machine. Unfortunately, his injury sent Zach Calzada, who has turned into an afterthought, onto the scene.
Calzada has been just about what you’d expect from a backup quarterback up until this point. He’s a clear downgrade from King, but he has certain upsides as a passer.
In fairness to national media, the backup Aggie quarterback hasn’t given us any reason to be overly excited. He has played in two games, the first of which was a generally bad performance from him. He bounced back against New Mexico with a strong, but flawed performance.
Thus far on the season, Calzada has thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions, completing just around 51% of his passes on the year. He has shown flashes of brilliance, including a perfectly-placed bomb to Demond Demas against New Mexico that went 70 yards for a touchdown.
Heck, when Calzada has had time in the pocket, he has made some incredible throws.
Texas A&M Football QB Zach Calzada has an opportunity to put his name on the college football map against Arkansas
Unfortunately for Calzada, he hasn’t always had enough time in the pocket to set his feet and throw deep balls all game long. He is, after all, working behind an offensive line that features four first-year starters. The sole returning starter from last year was Kenyon Green, who is actually one of the best linemen in the country.
But the offensive line hasn’t been elite, putting Calzada under pressure on occasion. Under pressure, he hasn’t performed particularly well. Thankfully, he’ll have another opportunity that he belongs under center for a top ten team on Saturday night.
Against Arkansas, Calzada can put his name on the map with a well-needed strong performance. As of Week 4, the Arkansas Razorbacks have one of the best passing defenses in the country — they’ve allowed just 142 yards per game through the air, which is among the top-15 in the nation. For good measure, it’s worth mentioning that their passing defense yardage is almost double what Texas A&M has allowed in 2021.
Still, it’s a formidable unit that won’t be easy to penetrate if you’re an Aggie.
Thankfully, the Hogs’ rushing defense doesn’t quite measure up, allowing 121 yards per game. You have to assume that Jimbo Fisher will have to attack this weakness with the two-headed monster that he has in the backfield in Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. If these two are able to open up the game on the ground, Calzada’s job should be easy.
In turn, if this happens, the door will open for QB1 to have a strong performance. If Calzada plays well in a ranked matchup against an SEC team, it’s hard to see a world where Texas A&M’s offense is still considered a huge worry.