Reacting to Depleted Texas A&M Football's Valiant Comeback Attempt in Texas Bowl

Texas A&M football, down to their third string, put up a heck of a fight in this one.

Dec 27, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Marcel Reed (10) looks for an open
Dec 27, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Marcel Reed (10) looks for an open / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas A&M Football's Third String Falls to Big 12's Second-Place Team by Single Digits

This was a heck of an ask for this Texas A&M football team from the outset. With a roster down at least 30 scholarship players coming into the night, that number grew closer to 37 by the time the game kicked off. Moss, Turner, Richardson, Mathews, and more would not be available for this game.

Still, though, this team came out and battled. On the very first play, the Aggies suffered yet another quarterback injury, as Jaylen Henderson broke his arm after being upended on a rollout. The team couldn't blink, though; the Pokes quickly put up 3 points and the Aggies, behind true freshman Marcel Reed, answered. Things began to seem like they were getting out of hand as the first half wore on, though, and the Cowboys went into the locker room leading 24-6.

Things flipped in the second half, though. Reed began to ball out. The defense was playing opportunistically. But it all fell just short. The Amari Daniels fumble near the goal line is what people will focus on, I think, but there were many plays, especially on defense, that should have been made that weren't.

The comeback attempt was super impressive, and I'm not sure what more you could expect out of a team as depleted as this one. Marcel Reed acquitted himself phenomenally, averaging 10.6 YPA and putting up a total of 361 passing yards for the game. If nothing else, I feel encouraged about the future of the Aggie quarterback room, with Henderson and Reed being joined by true freshman stud Miles O'Neill behind Weigman going into next year.

I said it before the game, and it holds true: there's not much you can take away from this loss. It reminds me of the game against Florida last year: there was just so much attrition (for very different reasons) that it's tough to draw meaningful conclusions. That won't stop me from putting out three takeaways in the morning, as I do think there are some big conclusions we can draw for 2024.

Reed. Walker. Moose. There's so much to be excited about going forward. Let's focus on that as we look to the beginning of the Elko era.

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