Texas A&M ignoring critics, focusing on Louisiana-Monroe

Saturday’s loss in South Florida as a ranked team against an unranked one has awakened the echoes of criticism around Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.

Again.

Regrouping from a 48-33 thumping by the then-unranked Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, the Aggies (1-1) will play a non-conference matchup Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe (2-0) in College Station, Texas.

Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke erupted for 374 passing yards on 21 completions with five touchdowns in a high-scoring, early season test that Fisher, coordinators D.J. Durkin and Bobby Petrino and the rest of the SEC squad failed.

Last season at home in Week 2, the Sun Belt Conference’s Appalachian State shocked the Aggies 17-14.

In his past 17 games, Fisher is 7-10 and 2-8 in the SEC. He holds a 40-22 mark overall.

And like 2022’s dismal 5-7 campaign, the critics have come out after the defeat in Dade County.

Fisher, who has nearly $77 million left on his contract, had some advice Monday as the blame from outside the program resurfaced.

“Turn social media off,” said Fisher, who coached offense under Louisiana-Monroe coach Terry Bowden at Samford and Auburn. “I always do. I think you have to. I think you should turn it off whether you do well or poorly. Don’t listen to any of it.”

More bad news found the Aggies on Monday as defensive lineman Shemar Turner, the team’s leader in sacks, was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and later was released.

Meanwhile, the Sun Belt’s Warhawks (2-0) are off to a strong start after topping Army 17-13 and Lamar 24-14 behind a rushing attack that gave ULM its first 2-0 opening since 2018.

In Saturday’s victory, Isaiah Woullard (career-high 113 yards) and Hunter Smith (101) helped Louisiana-Monroe post two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 2019.

“We said that was one of the things we wanted to be able to do — run the football better,” said Bowden, who was a head coach in the SEC from 1993-98. “We felt like we’d be a little stronger up front, and we were.”

In the two wins, Louisiana-Monroe has totaled 492 rushing yards on 72 carries (6.8 yards per rush) and three touchdowns.

–Field Level Media