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Notebook: Aggies Struggle, Drag Themselves to 20-3 Victory Over UMass

UMass entered this game with exactly one win this season, but the Minutemen gave the Aggies a run for their money.

Texas A&M finally got a win, after what seemed like an eternity. It may only have been a six-game losing streak, but it felt like 100, and the Aggies should be ecstatic to have broken that rut. Unfortunately, their 20-3 win over UMass will be a little bittersweet, if only due to its sloppiness. 

The Aggies came out on top, but they were in a dogfight for most of the game. The Minutemen, who came into the game 1-9, had never beaten a Power 5 team in program history but had A&M on the ropes in the first half. The Aggies didn't manage to pull away until late in the fourth and struggled to keep UMass at bay. In the end, though, head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies got a desperately needed win. 

Turnover Trouble

Texas A&M was able to survive their dismal offensive performance against UMass, but next week against LSU, that likely won't get the job done. The Aggies lost three fumbles and would have lost more if not for UMass penalties. Yes, it was rainy, but A&M lost the turnover battle to one of the worst teams in the FBS. Had it not been for the Minutemen's absolute inability to move the ball through the air, the Aggies may not have been on the winning end of this one.

On the bright side, Aggies freshman quarterback Conner Weigman didn't commit any turnovers, although a couple of lucky bounces may have saved him. He looked comfortable, especially on the run, but the Aggies need to score more points. Period. They can't do that if they keep coughing up the ball. 

Awful Offensive Line

The Minutemen ranked 111th in sacks coming into this afternoon. By the end of the first half, they had already recorded three. UMass finished the game with a season-high three sacks and seven total tackles for loss, beating A&M in both categories (2 sacks-6 TFLs). The Minutemen defensive line consistently beat the Aggies' front five and got into the backfield at will. 

The Aggies haven't had the best blocking this year, but they should have manhandled the Minutemen. Instead, they were exposed, both in personnel and in the scheme. Coach Jimbo Fisher may be satisfied with the win, but A&M's issues are glaring. The Aggies' problems go far beyond execution, and it may take a complete overhaul to solve them.

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Jimbo Fisher On The Outs?

This was a must-win game for Fisher, and if he didn't deliver, he likely would have been let go before leaving Kyle Field. A&M got the W, though, and Fisher's job is safe, at least for the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was a pitiful enough performance against a perennial bottom feeder to warrant criticism. This victory will by no means quiet the naysayers. Really, it may just add more fuel to the fire.

Will that monstrous buyout keep Fisher at the helm? Or will Texas A&M bite the bullet and back up the brinks truck to send their current ball coach packing? A win against LSU, although unlikely, maybe the only thing that can keep Fisher in College Station any longer. 

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