A losing streak will end as Texas A&M hosts UMass
Texas A&M will try to break its longest losing streak since 1972 on Saturday when the Aggies host UMass in College Station, Texas, in a non-conference game and first-ever meeting between the teams.
The Aggies (3-7) have dropped six consecutive games after last Saturday’s 13-10 loss at Auburn, ending their hopes of bowl eligibility. This after starting the season with College Football Playoff hopes.
“It’s very disappointing, but we’ve got to go back to work and fix it and get better,” coach Jimbo Fisher said.
UMass (1-9), meantime, has lost seven in a row.
A&M was without starting back Devon Achane (foot) and receiver Moose Muhammad (benched, reportedly for wearing arm sleeves) against Auburn, which led to five true freshmen in the lineup.
Quarterback Conner Weigman returned after being sidelined against Florida (illness), but he was just 14-of-36 for 121 yards and in one stretch threw 13 consecutive incompletions.
While the Aggies intercepted two passes and allowed just 115 second-half yards, the offense left plenty to be desired and spurred questions about the possibility of Fisher bringing in an offensive coordinator. He currently calls offensive plays.
“We weren’t in sync, couldn’t get in rhythm,” Fisher said. “We’ve got to coach them better, and that’s on us coaches.”
Fisher expects Achane to return this season. Muhammad will be available on Saturday.
Though UMass is 0-9 against FBS competition this season (its only victory was against FCS team Stony Brook), it presents a challenge with the 51st-ranked total defense (364.1 yards per game) in FBS. Don Brown’s team is also 10th in opponent’s third-down percentage (.296).
The Minutemen fell 35-33 to another first-time foe in Arkansas State last week and now will face their first SEC challenge since 2018 at No. 5 Georgia.
“Our kids have played in some pretty sophisticated environments in terms of crowd, noise and so forth,” UMass coach Don Brown said. “I think we’ll be just fine.”
Another strong game from redshirt senior Ellis Merriweather certainly would help UMass. He rushed for 122 yards, two touchdowns and a conversion at Arkansas State.
Merriweather has eclipsed the century mark 10 times and scored a pair of touchdowns three times in his career.
–Field Level Media