The Texas A&M Aggies blew a halftime lead against Florida in their SEC debut, and this is a reason for new head coach Kevin Sumlin to worry as the 2012 season continues.
Last season, four of the Aggies’ six losses came when the team led at halftime. The team was tied with Kansas State after two periods, but led going into the fourth quarter before losing in overtime.
Following the season, the program underwent major changes. Mike Sherman did not make it through the year, and the team moved from the Big 12 to the SEC.
In their SEC debut and Sumlin’s first game at the helm, the bad habit of blowing leads did not disappear.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel and running back Christine Michael each ran for a touchdown in the first half, but were stifled in the second half. The Aggies offense produced five punts, a fumble and no points on six drives in the second and third quarters.
The defense allowed just 10 points in the second half, and the offense must shoulder the majority of the blame.
Sumlin knows it’s a problem, saying, "It's something we addressed. It's the elephant in the room," via ESPN.
This performance suggests that Sumlin—who is known for his offensive knowledge—will struggle to get his team to score consistently against SEC defenses.
The road forward will not get much easier as the Aggies travel deeper into SEC play. Texas A&M will face LSU and Alabama, both of whom boast Top Three national rankings and terrifying defenses.
Mississippi State is another conference opponent with a stout defense. If Sumlin cannot make the necessary adjustments to get his offense performing better by the time he faces these three teams over a four-week stretch, his team could flame out towards the end of the season.
The game against Florida provided the Aggies with an opportunity to win an important game at home. This would have given them momentum and a victory in one of their tougher games this season.
Everything started according to plan, but the team fell into its old habits despite new personnel.
The loss is certainly a reason to worry, as missed opportunities may become a pattern for this team, just like last season.