Edgerrin Cooper needed three words to describe not just Saturday’s weather but also the state of Texas A&M Aggies football during a six-game losing streak.
“It’s been miserable,” the junior linebacker said Saturday.
Copper isn’t alone with his assessment of the Aggies’ current status despite picking up a 20-3 victory over Massachusetts to end the six-game skid last week. Offensive lineman Layden Robinson was a bit more jovial with his description of the program entering Week 13, but the message remained the same.
“This season will likely be remembered as a disappointment. There’s no hiding that. There’s no going away from that,” Robinson said. “It’s also a learning experience for the players.
“This is a lesson for the team to deal with some growing pains and some scars you develop. You just have to overcome them in the future.”
The Aggies (4-7, 1-6 SEC) will suit up again in 2022. With bowl eligibility off the table, Texas A&M won’t have much to play for in terms of immediate expectations.
It will, however, have the chance to spoil No. 6 LSU’s chances of making the College Football Playoff in Year 1 of the Brian Kelly era. For players like Cooper, a native of Louisiana, there’s more than pride on the line facing the hometown team.
That’s a big thing we’re looking forward to,” Cooper said Saturday. “We’re looking forward to making a stamp to make this happen.”
The preseason trajectory of LSU and Texas A&M has flipped since Week 1’s initial kickoff. After nabbing the No. 1 recruiting class for 2022, the preseason No. 6 Aggies were projected to contend for an SEC West title and perhaps a chance for the College Football Playoff.
LSU (8-2, 6-1 SEC), two years removed from winning its third national title since 2000, was expected to take a season under Kelly and build a sustainable foundation for 2023. The crew in Baton Rouge worked overtime to put in the final touches of the base level before the start of the conference play.
The Tigers have won nine of their last 10 games behind Kelly’s play-calling and improved quarterback play from transfer Jayden Daniels. Defensively, LSU has a trio of playmakers that can ruin a quarterback’s day, including freshman phenom Harold Perkins at middle linebacker.
“You just see a natural athlete,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said of Perkins, who initially committed to Texas A&M in January. “He’s great in space, rushes, plays physical. He’s a very intelligent young man. We knew going in he was a very highly recruited guy … he’s a very good player. I always enjoyed being around him.”