Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M football team dominated the New Mexico Lobos last Saturday with a final score of 52-10. This is the first time the Aggies have reached 50 points in a game since 2021 when Zach Calzada took the field against Prairie View A&M, and the defense held the Lobos to only 222 yards. The question still remains, however: how confident should we be in the Aggies after week 1?
Texas A&M football offensive confidence meter: Cautiously high
Bobby Petrino, the new OC for this Texas A&M football program, certainly made his presence known this weekend, answering any and all questions about who was calling the plays. He led quarterback Conner Weigman to 5 passing touchdowns, the most ever by an Aggie quarterback in the season opener, granting Weigman the highest QBR in the country. Wide receivers Noah Thomas and Evan Stewart were making plays all over the field, combining for 5 touchdowns, and the offensive line created time in the pocket for Weigman to deliver his throws. The run game did have its faults, with only 134 yards and the offensive line struggled to break through the defensive line. Reps were split between 3 backs, Le’veon Moss, Reuben Owens, and Amari Daniels, with the hope that as the top rushing candidate emerges, the running game will be back to being dominant as it has in the past. While still unproven against quality opponents, the offense was a breath of fresh air. After many years of below average stats, this was certainly a good sign of the new era of Aggie offense.
Texas A&M football defensive confidence meter: Could be better
The Aggie defense struggled at times, and let up some disappointing drives to a far inferior offense from the Lobos, allowing 222 yards on the ground leading to 10 points. The secondary looked confused at times and they lost some coverages, but overall played well. Linebacker was heavily targeted in the passing game, and while both sides held down the field for most of the game, they will need to elevate their play to become an elite unit. On the other hand, the talent is undeniable. Boston College transfer Josh Deberry led the team with 10 tackles, with a pass breakup and an interception along the way. The defensive line looks much improved against the run compared to last year, allowing 91 yards on the ground. The Aggie defense put lots of pressure on the quarterback recording 2 sacks and 10 tackles for loss and overall looks much improved on the front lines compared to last year.
Special teams confidence meter: Needs to be better
While special teams may not seem like a big deal, it matters against big opponents. Outside of a 60 yards punt return from Ainias Smith, the special teams looked lost. Smith attempted many reckless punt returns and catches, and on the Aggies field goal attempt in the first half, the Lobos defenders blocked the kick with ease. If Texas A&M wants to be elite in all stages of the game, they will need to clean up this unit.
Overall confidence meter: Cautiously optimistic
Despite the lower quality opponent, the Aggies looked much improved in the 2023 debut compared to the season before, but there are still things that need to be improved if they want to be a contender in the last year of the SEC West. The offense and defense both have the potential to be elite units in the SEC, but they need to show it against higher level competition and fix the problems that arise. The Aggies will look to prove their level of play against a quality opponent in Miami next Saturday at 2:30.