Why the Texas A&M Football team is still a CFP contender after loss to Arkansas

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
Texas A&M Football
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

From the very start, this game was a total disaster for the Texas A&M Football team. The Aggies looked terrible on offense — only managing three points by halftime. That said, their late second-quarter field goal was huge, giving them some momentum to finish out the half.

To begin the second half, the offense still looked stagnant though. They’d kick off the first drive of the second half with a drive that netted -3 yards in total. Thankfully, this would be followed by a huge three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that got Jimbo Fisher’s squad moving in the right direction.

Calzada would then throw an interception, landing the hogs in great field positioning.

Unfortunately, Texas A&M would never be able to come back from this. The fourth-quarter tipped-pass interception from Zach Calzada allowed the Razorbacks to get into scoring range. In hindsight, this may have ended the game earlier than we expected.

The final score would be 20-10, with Arkansas getting their first signature win of the year and their first win in ten contests with the Aggies.

The Texas A&M Football team should still be considered a College Football Playoff contender

Fortunately for Aggie fans, I’m about to tell you why you shouldn’t worry.

First, and perhaps most obviously, the Texas A&M football team is as injury-riddled as they come. On an offensive line that was already inexperienced, the Aggies have been starting a unit full of guys who didn’t expect to see many snaps in general in 2021. An early-game injury to Jahmir Johnson, a transfer starter from Tennessee, only compounded that fact.

At the wide receiver spot, Texas A&M had second and third stringers in the game as a result of the injuries to starters in Caleb Chapman and Chase Lane. This thrust players like Demond Demas and Jalen Preston into the lineup.  As a result, the receivers weren’t able to get much separation from more talented Arkansas defensive backs.

The offensive line was banged up, as Texas A&M started a true freshman and saw an injury to Jahmir Johnson, sending another backup into the game.

Most importantly, however, the injury to starting quarterback Haynes King had a huge impact on the game. I won’t badmouth Zach Calzada too much, as he’s had a tough draw as starting quarterback, but he is clearly not ready for the spotlight of being an Aggie quarterback.

Calzada seemed hesitant to make routine passes all game long. Sure, Texas A&M was being overpowered by three-man rushes from Arkansas, but even when Calzada had time, he was extremely hesitant to release the ball. When he did throw it, he usually had a pretty easy time, completing passes to his targets.

But beyond all of the injuries, Texas A&M had a really solid second half. More specifically, they outscored Arkansas 7-3. Granted, that doesn’t sound like much but was clear which team was in the driver’s seat.

Unfortunately, the loss rests on the shoulders of Zach Calzada, who has consistently proven that he’s not a first-half guy. Unfortunately for Calzada, there are two halves in college football. If you’re not a first-half guy, there are going to be problems.

On the bright side, Calzada will only be the starter until mid-October. Again, I hate to be so negative toward an individual player, but with the team’s current circumstances, it’s hard to see a world where this offense has a full turnaround and becomes an SEC contender with a backup quarterback under center.

If the Texas A&M football team can win out through that point, they will still be in the College Football Playoff race.

dark. Next. Why Alabama looked beatable

You’d be lying to me if you said that you didn’t think an injury-free Texas A&M team would have won this game. Haynes King may not be the messiah, but he’s a huge upgrade from Calzada. If this team manages to get healthy, they’ll be a force in the SEC West once again.