The narrative surrounding the Texas A&M football team this offseason was almost entirely based on a quarterback competition between Haynes King and Zach Calzada.
At the beginning of the 2021 season, King won that competition. And, generally speaking, he looked the part in his single game as the team’s full-time starter. King did have an undesirable 2:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but he looked confident throughout the entire night and led the Aggies to 41 points, which still stands as their highest scoring total of the season.
When he went down with a leg injury against Colorado, the Aggies’ offensive production came to a halt. A&M scored just 10 points in that game, followed by an underwhelming 34 points of production against New Mexico and another 10-point game against Arkansas.
Against Alabama, Calzada arguably out-dueled the Heisman frontrunner in Bryce Young and led his team to one of the biggest victories in program history. He was accurate and showed more heart than we’ve seen out of anybody on this team in… well, maybe ever.
Even if it’s just a single game, Texas A&M football backup QB Zach Calzada has a claim to the starting spot
The assumption attached to Zach Calzada as Texas A&M’s starting quarterback is simple — he’s holding the torch while Haynes King recovers from a fracture in his leg. King was originally projected to be out until mid-October, and as things stand, that still seems like a likely date.
Take a look at your calendar.
It’s October 11th which, by some standards, could be considered mid-October. That said, King will likely miss another week before we enter the real window of his return, which had an optimistic date of mid-October. But this does raise an important question.
Does Zach Calzada stand a chance of retaining the starting spot when Haynes King returns?
If he continues to play how he did against Alabama, the answer is an easy yes. You’d be stupid not to keep a quarterback in the game who has your team playing better than anyone in college football. That said, it seems entirely unlikely that he can withhold this level of play, especially with a few stingy opponents ahead in South Carolina, Auburn, and Ole Miss.
Here’s a comparison of the two quarterbacks’ stats this year.
Haynes King: 62.9% completion, 300 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 8.6 Y/A
Zach Calzada: 56.6% completion, 1,029 yards, 8 TD, 5 INT, 6.5 Y/A
If A&M struggles to put together a competent offense in the next few weeks, King will return — no questions asked. This should be considered the likely scenario, as A&M has been unable to block adequately for Calzada, who isn’t a particularly mobile quarterback, leading to poor performances from the Cuban Missile.
Anything could happen — Calzada holding onto the starting job shouldn’t be considered off of the table.