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Out of room for excuses, Mike

Team’s offensive failures fall on Sherman’s shoulders

Published: Sunday, October 10, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07

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Daniel Crump — THE BATTALION

Aggie freshman joker Damontre Moore makes a tackle during A&M’s 24-17 loss to No. 11 Arkansas in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Aggie defense held the potent Razorbacks offense to three points in the second half.

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Meagan O’Toole-Pitts — THE BATTALION

Senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson drops back in the pocket. Johnson completed 15 of 40 passes, while the offense was plagued by inefficiency and managed two punts and a turnover in three fourth-quarter possessions.

In year one, Dennis Franchione left the talent cupboard bare. In year two, the team was young. In year three, well … there are no excuses left. And there are no moral victories to take solace in.

With a 24-17 defeat in Arlington to No. 11 Arkansas, Texas A&M again missed a golden opportunity to establish itself on the national stage. In its eleventh consecutive loss on television, A&M again showed its aversion to the bright lights. But more so than anything, with a pathetic offensive performance, A&M again showed that same ineptitude apparent the last three weeks.

Same story. Week in, week out. Year in, year out.

Under Head Coach Mike Sherman, this team's record against winning teams now moves to 3-14.

It was a game the Razorbacks seemingly handed to A&M. With 13 ill-advised penalties and two untimely turnovers, Arkansas left the door open. Yet, for the third straight week, Sherman's offense did all they could and more to emphatically slam that door shut.

"They run every type of coverage that you can think of," said senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson. "They throw the kitchen sink at you, but at the same time are sound in coverage. ... [And] once again, I didn't do enough for us to win."

Sure, Johnson's 15-for-40 performance wasn't nearly good enough. However, he is not the only person culpable for this sudden bout of offensive incompetence.

There were four turnovers, giving the team 14 in three games. There was no intermediate passing game. There were 10 abhorrent penalties that forced repetitive third-and-long situations. As a result, there were only four converted third downs. There was consistently atrocious play along the offensive line. There was questionable play calling and questionable time management.

All day long, the offense put Tim DeRuyter's defense in disastrous situations. All day long, DeRuyter's improved unit stepped up to the plate and single-handedly kept this team in the game.

They persistently pressured all-world Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett and, despite giving up over 400 yards, never allowed the game to get out of reach.

But in the third and fourth quarter, with a statement game exceedingly winnable, Sherman's offense spit the bit.

From the seven minute mark in the third quarter on, the Aggie offense had six drives. They totaled 94 yards and zero points.

That is simply unacceptable.

"We came up here with the mindset to win a football game," Sherman said. "Regardless of people saying, ‘You played a good game,' we can't accept that because we didn't come away with a victory."

All offseason, this team and its leaders said there were no excuses not to take that next step. They built high expectations for this perceived "dark horse" Big 12 contender. They continually pronounced this 2010 season as being the one to legitimize the program.

Well, now this 2010 season is on the verge of spiraling out of control and the only thing legitimized is that this program is currently mediocre and irrelevant.

And for that, Sherman's offense is to blame.

 

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