Backup QB for Texas A&M football still one of SEC’s best
I had been waiting until after this weekend to write a story about this Texas A&M football team. That story would have had a headline saying something like “The SEC West is There for A&M’s Taking.” Maybe something with slightly less tortured phrasing. I don’t know. I would’ve workshopped it.
But then the news about Conner Weigman came down this morning: after further evaluation, the star sophomore is out for the season.
I took some time to think. And then I decided to write the piece anyway.
Things are different now—no doubt. We haven’t even seen one full game of Max yet this season. But the Aggies can still do this. They can still win this division.
The toughest defense they have yet to play in conference—the Alabama Crimson Tide—will be one for a team that they get at Kyle Field. Jalen Milroe and that Alabama offense aren’t scaring anyone, especially with the improvements against the run that the Aggies have shown. There are still tests, to be sure: road trips against Tennessee, Ole Miss, and LSU are pivotal games. But there are great reasons to believe they can win each of those games, even if going 3-0 in them might not seem like an eminent possibility right now. Tennessee’s offense isn’t what it was last year; Joe Milton is not Hendon Hooker. Ole Miss can’t protect Jaxson Dart at all. LSU can’t defend against decent offenses. The Aggies have the personnel to win them. And yes, that includes quarterback.
Max Johnson has a career TD:INT ratio of 6:1. He’s played on big stages. He’s up to this task. Yes, he has his limitations, and he’s not the same QB that Conner is. But if Petrino can scheme it up so that Max is playing within himself, the run game continues to develop, and Max can hit on some play-action shots, then the Aggie offense can continue its bounce back to be one of the top units in the conference.
The SEC West is down this year. Way down from where it normally is. No game will be easy, to be clear, but it’s not the gauntlet it has been since the Aggies joined. Statistically speaking, there are some models that have Texas A&M football as the best team in the conference so far.
They have the ability. Now they just need to go out and do it.