Though a QB competition is nominally underway for Texas A&M football in fall camp, most of the Maroon and White faithful expect rising sophomore Conner Weigman to trot out with the first team against New Mexico on September 2. Rightly so—it was clear last year that Weigman was the best passer in the Aggie QB room by most any metric, faint praise though that may be.
Regardless of the general offensive ineptitude (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the Aggies last year, though, Weigman’s ability has many Aggie fans excited about the potential of the passing game. Combine that with a new, (hopefully) dynamic OC and play-caller in Bobby Petrino, a talented stable of backs, an OL that returns all starters, and perhaps the most underrated WR room in the nation, and it’s not hard to see why A&M fans are dreaming big about this offense.
That doesn’t mean Conner is without his naysayers, however. Clark Brooks of On3 (also known as SECStatCat on Twitter) is somewhat skeptical of Weigman’s quality compared to other SEC QBs.
This comment led to a good back-and-forth between Brooks and Liucci, which is worth reading. In the interest of summarizing, however, Liucci’s main point was that Weigman was dragged down by difficult performances at Auburn and in a muddy home game against lowly UMass where he lacked his best offensive weapons at the skill positions. If you consider his performances against Ole Miss and a top-5 LSU team, however, the aptitude of Weigman is clearly evident.
Though Brooks remains skeptical, I think there’s something to Liucci’s line of thinking. I’m a SEC Stat Cat fan, but I agree with Billy that Clark is letting his (admittedly very thorough!) collection of stats tell the story rather than the play on the field.
This is Weigman’s biggest opportunity for growth this season as the QB for Texas A&M football. In the games at Auburn and against UMass, he faced very unfavorable conditions. The team couldn’t get going offensively, for whatever reason. They spun their wheels, losing a game they easily could have won and barely winning a game that should have been a blowout. Both games were cold, wet, and muddy and involved different important skill players missing for various reasons.—again, unfavorable conditions.
Now, you could say facing the defense of a top-5 team (featuring ESPN’s #4 overall player for 2023 who had terrorized every single QB he had faced) might be as unfavorable of a condition, and I see your line of thinking there. But that was a night where everything was clicking. Everything was humming along on both offense and defense. He didn’t need to give that Texas A&M football team a jolt—they were already powered up.
That’s one of the biggest things we will see from Weigman this fall. When the chips are down, and things aren’t going like they should, can he fire the offense up? It’s hard to perform at the highest level every single week, especially in the grind that is the SEC West. Can he be the guy, whether with his play or his leadership on the sidelines, to kick things into high gear when the motor starts sputtering?
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need an answer to that question, because every player 1 through 85 on the roster would be operating at peak capacity week in and week out. But we don’t live in that perfect world. And so the question stands. Can he light up this offense?
We’ll find out soon enough.