In the second quarter against Mississippi State, the crowd erupted into applause.
The cheers were not in response to any football game. The “oops! Were in fact the result of a bird who made their home at Kyle Field in the eventual 26-22 loss to the Bulldogs.
Not applauding the game was the right choice, as the Texas A&M defense certainly fell short of expectations.
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher has said there are aspects of the defense that he wants to improve.
“We gave up too many controlled drives and ate too much clock,” Fisher said. “We have to play a little better in the men’s cover and win these battles.”
Before starting the SEC game, A&M had the # 1 class defense in the country. However, against Arkansas on September 25, the Aggies took a turn for the worse.
The old “Demolition Team 2.0”Got the Razorbacks up for 246, nearly 100 yards more than red-shirt sophomore Zach Calzada threw for this whole game.
Second-year running back Devon Achane said the entire A&M football program needs to reach a level of excellence that it has yet to achieve.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Achane. “In this team, no one wants to lose. To be 0-2 I just feel like we have to come together as a group and as a team and not be down and point fingers. We just have to come together and go train, work hard and improve, day in and day out. “
The Brown and White lost just two starting defensemen in the 2021 NFL Draft: Buddy Johnson and Bobby Brown III.
“[Johnson and Brown] are great players, but we have other guys who are playing great, ”said Fisher. “[Our new guys] let’s do what we’re supposed to do and every time you lose great players it still affects you, but we have other guys.
That should have indicated good things for the A&M defense in the 2021 season. But it isn’t. Against the Bulldogs, hardly a single highlight could be found of the defense.
The Aggies gave Mississippi State 408 passing yards without a single recorded interception in the contest. This shortfall contrasts sharply with the 2020 season, where the Aggies recorded 10 interceptions in 10 games played.
A&M’s defensive strengths have been found in sacks and broken passes against Mississippi State, although the latter doesn’t mean much in defining a “winning game.” In total, the Aggies had three sacks and seven missed passes.
Another strength of A&M’s defense was minimizing running – arguably one of the only good performances in the ball game – allowing the Bulldogs to only rush 30 yards. However, this feat cannot only be attributed to the Aggies, as the state of Mississippi typically relies primarily on a transient offense.
Second-year defensive back Antonio Johnson led the Aggies in aggregate with 15 tackles, nine of which were solo.
Johnson said the defense was nowhere near hitting their targets for the SEC October 2 game.
“Any defense that gives 400 yards is not our goal,” said Johnson. “We knew that wasn’t our goal, we just have to go back and watch the movie and see where the mistakes were and come back next week and fix them.”
Either way, when you ask Aggies what constitutes a solid defense right now, there’s a good chance he’s saying “the secondary.” If you know anything about football, that’s not where brown and white should be.
The Aggies will face their toughest opponent of the year on October 9 against the University of Alabama No.1. A&M will not be able to count on its attack on Crimson Tide, the SEC’s offensive powerhouse led by seven-time national champion Nick Saban.
So if the Aggies are to get the Alabama upset, Fisher and defensive coordinator Mike Elko have their work cut out for them.
“We can’t lose anymore,” Johnson said. “We have to lock ourselves in. “