Aggie fans have very short memories. We don’t want any of the growing pains (replacing coordinators, building experience and depth, ect) we just want the baby (a national championship in football). Kevin Sumlin has a football program to run and he runs it like a CEO. He doesn’t allow himself to get caught up in the weeds but keeps his focus on steering the ship.
And when it comes to A&M’s quarterback situation, I believe he has handled it brilliantly.
The Aggies entered the 2014 season in the precarious situation of only two scholarship quarterbacks on roster; So. Kenny Hill and Fr. Kyle Allen. And at the conclusion of that season, Kenny Hill announced that he would be transferring.
The precarious situation entered defcon levels as Aggie fans realized the very real possibility of only having one scholarship quarterback in 2015. Kyler Murray had paid a visit to Texas and was, by all indications, very much considering his options. Should he have picked the Longhorns, it’s very possible that 5-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack would have joined him.
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And yet, most Aggie fans would have you believe that Sumlin should have fired Spavital after last season! Again, we have very short memories.
Luckily for us, Sumlin doesn’t make decisions based on message board drama. Jake Spavital remained the offensive coordinator and they were able to close on Kyler Murray. This marked consecutive years where Spavital has successfully recruited a 5-star quarterback to A&M. Then they went out and added depth in JUCO transfer Jake Hubenak.
Now in 2015, Sumlin and Spavital have had the unenviable task of managing the egos of two 5-star quarterbacks, give them both meaningful experience, and win games. And in all but the second half of the Ole Miss game, it’s hard to argue that they didn’t play the quarterback who gave A&M the best chance to succeed.
It hasn’t always been pretty, and often times the offense appears disjointed as the Aggies try to adjust to each quarterback’s skillset. Some of that is on playcalling, some of it on the porous offensive line. But lots of it is on the youth of both quarterbacks. Kyle Allen threw three pick-sixes against Bama. Kyler Murray has a 5-7 touchdown to interception ratio this season. Both quarterbacks have showed their youth throughout the season.
Yet, there seems to be this underlying assumption that either Kyle or Kyler HAS to transfer. Right when Sumlin finally has some depth and talent, there is just no way that both players stick around and compete. Right?
Just another obstacle Sumlin is navigating.
On Saturday, the Aggies started Kyler Murray as expected. And considering the opponent, he had a relatively lackluster day of 56% passing on 39 attempts. His 191 total yards, 3 touchdown passes, and 2 interceptions led to a 39.1 QBR on the day.
But then in the 4th quarter, Kyle Allen was inserted in mop up duty. He went 6/6 for 88 yards and a touchdown on his one possession. In his limited action, he achieved a 96.7 QBR. Any injury from the Mississippi State game or reinjury from the Ole Miss game seems to be long gone.
So once again, A&M appears to have a quarterback controversy on its hands. It was just three weeks ago that everyone was clamoring for Kyler Murray to take over and save our offense. And here we, three weeks later, with very short memories.
Sumlin announced at yesterday’s presser that he would be evaluating the quarterbacks this week and announcing a starter shortly before the Vanderbilt game.
Regardless of who plays, one thing is for certain. Both quarterbacks are young and both want to win the starting job. And by all appearances, Sumlin is navigating that competition into the offseason.
If Sumlin hoped to avoid a transfer following this season, he is doing a brilliant job of keeping both quarterbacks in the fold.