Week two of the college football season was nothing short of a disaster for Texas A&M football. The Aggies played host to Appalachian State, which entered the game as an 18-point underdog, but struggled immensely. The Aggies had under 200 yards of total offense in a 17-14 Mountaineers victory, which dropped A&M from No. 6 to No. 24 in the rankings.
Immediately following the game, head coach Jimbo Fisher said the Aggies would “evaluate everything” going forward. That statement included starting quarterback Haynes King, who had a dreadful day with just 97 passing yards against the Mountaineers. Speculation about a change under center circulated all week, and the Aggies officially made a change on Friday.
Instead of King, the Texas A&M football squad will roll out Max Johnson for its home showdown against No. 13 Miami on Saturday. Johnson, a transfer from LSU, will be making his debut as the Aggies' starter, and the pressure is already on. If he doesn't play up to expectations, Texas A&M football fans will be calling for his job soon as well.
Fortunately for the Aggies, Johnson should be a clear upgrade over King, and here are a few reasons why.
3. The team will respond to the change
No matter how good or bad a team's starting quarterback is, that team counts on him as a leader. He's the one who calls plays in the huddle, signals his teammates before the snap and motivates them on the sidelines.
With that in mind, a coach benching his starting signal caller sends a message to the entire team. By doing so, the coach is saying that no one's job is completely safe, and that he's expecting more out of everyone. That message definitely applies after how dreadful the Aggies were on offense against the Mountaineers.
If Fisher's message worked, then A&M's offense should look completely different against Miami. The Aggies will have extra motivation to prove they can still compete, and that bodes well for Max Johnson in his first game as the starter.
2. He can get the ball to his talented receivers
Despite their struggles under center, the Aggies have an abundance of talent at receiver. According to 247Sports, they have two former five-star receivers, Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall, and four former four-stars. That's not even including former three-star recruit Anais Smith, who leads the team with 185 yards this season.
King didn't have the arm talent to get the ball to his star receivers, but Johnson does. Just last season at LSU, Johnson threw for 2,815 yards and 27 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He did that with a less talented receiver core and with star wideout Kayshon Boutte missing half the year.
With the better talent at his disposal with the Texas A&M football team, Johnson should feel right at home in College Station.
Sure, Johnson has the edge over King in nearly every statistical category. Obviously, that's a huge deciding factor in who should start, but the experience gap is arguably more important.
King has played in just four collegiate games, two this season and two last season. Meanwhile, Johnson has played in 18 games the last two seasons and started 14 of them, plus saw brief action in this season's opener. In that time, he has played against some of the best teams in the country, and that experience will serve him well with the Aggies.
That experience means he can stay cool under pressure and limit his mistakes. With the sheer talent on the Aggies' roster, they don't need much more from him. Max Johnson is the clear best option to be the starting quarterback for Texas A&M football.