COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M might have a new starting quarterback when the Aggies host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
Kenny Hill, who started the first eight games, could be benched in favor of freshman Kyle Allen after struggling with turnovers in a three-game skid.
”They’ve both gotten reps over the last week and will both continue to get reps,” coach Kevin Sumlin said. ”After what’s happened, there’s really nothing off the table at that point.”
What happened was an embarrassing 59-0 loss to Alabama to extend A&M’s skid to three games after a 5-0 start. The Aggies need a win on Saturday to avoid losing four games in a row for the first time since 2005.
Hill beat out Allen in fall camp and got off to a great start, throwing for a school-record 511 yards in the season opener and helping the Aggies to their perfect start. The sophomore’s 2,649 yards passing lead the Southeastern Conference and are sixth in the nation, but he has seven turnovers in the last three games combined.
Allen was one of the top quarterback prospects in the country after throwing for more than 8,000 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career at Desert Mountain high school in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has 264 yards passing and three touchdowns in four games this season.
Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry knows this will be a tough game for his team regardless of who starts at quarterback, and he also brushed off A&M’s recent trouble.
”We’ve got a huge challenge this week against a very good Texas A&M football team,” Berry said. ”I think this is a team that’s a top-10 team. They had the unfortunate task of playing Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State in back to back weeks. I would challenge anybody in college football to play those three games in a row and see how they fare.”
Some things to know about the Louisiana-Monroe-Texas A&M game:
THROWBACKS: Texas A&M will wear throwback uniforms to honor its 1939 national championship team on Saturday. The special helmets have a leather-like texture made using photos of helmets worn by the 1939 team. The helmets will have `AMC’ stenciled on the back of them referring to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, which A&M was known as in 1939. The jerseys will feature a patch inspired by the 1939 uniforms and will have rips and tears to mimic wear. Dark brown shoes with metal eyelets will complete the look.
LONG DAY: Louisiana-Monroe’s day will start at about 7 a.m. on Saturday because the team couldn’t get rooms in College Station.
”All of the hotels in College Station are full,” Berry said. ”So we are staying about an hour and 15 minutes away, so we will have an early bus ride with the 11 a.m. kickoff.”
They’re not letting their lodging situation dampen the day though.
”This is one of the great venues in college football and one of the great atmospheres in college football, so our players, our staff are excited about going down there and trying to get better this week,” Berry said.
CHASING CLOWNEY: Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett has already set the school record for sacks as a freshman with 7 1/2. He’s just one sack away from breaking the SEC freshman sack record of eight set by Jadeveon Clowney in 2011 at South Carolina. Clowney was taken by the Houston Texans with the top overall pick in this year’s draft. Louisiana-Monroe has allowed 21 sacks this season.
ALL HEALED UP: Sumlin said his team really benefited from its bye last week after playing eight straight games. He said he didn’t realize just how tough that stretch was on his team – both physically and mentally – until they had a chance to rest during their off week.
”I probably underestimated the eight-game stretch and how we handled it. We didn’t handle it the right way,” Sumlin said. ”We had a substantial amount of guys banged up or beat up, and I would say mentally tired. That’s something we tried to address last week. I think the bye week came at a great time for us.”
GOING BOWLING?: With a win on Saturday, the Aggies will become eligible for a bowl game for a school-record sixth straight season. The Aggies have won their last three bowl games, capped by 52-48 victory over Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl last season.