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QB unsettled for Texas A&M heading into Alabama

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It’s uncertain who will start at quarterback for Texas A&M’s struggling offense, but it’s certain he’ll have a daunting task against top-ranked Alabama, which has one of the nation’s best defenses.

A&M junior quarterback Max Johnson, who brought stability to the inexperienced unit, injured the thumb on his throwing hand in last week’s 42-24 loss at Mississippi State.

“We’ll go day-to-day, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said at Monday’s press conference. “He banged his hand, we’ll evaluate him as he goes day-to-day.”

Sophomore Haynes King and true freshman Conner Weigman will prepare to play if Johnson is unable, Fisher said.

King has been plagued by turnovers while Weigman, a five-star recruit from Cypress Bridgeland, has yet to play.

King who started the first two games before being benched, was 6-of-13 passing against Mississippi State for 49 yards and added two carries for 14 yards, including a touchdown. But he also threw a pair of interceptions.

“I thought it was a pretty good throw,” Fisher said of King’s first interception. “He was hit as he threw [on the second interception]. His decision-making was good. Unfortunately, he had a couple breaks where the ball tipped the wrong way. He was doing the right things.”

King in seven career games has thrown eight interceptions and six touchdowns.

Many fans are eager to see Weigman who gets repetitions in practice every week with the second unit.

“He’s knowledgeable,” Fisher said. “He’s really progressing, he understands everything we’re doing and how we’re doing it. He’s getting better and better and I think he’s going to be a very good player.”

Johnson, the transfer from LSU, replaced King after the loss to Appalachian State and led A&M to victories over Miami and Arkansas. A&M didn’t have a turnover in those games, but the Aggies had a season-high four against Mississippi State.

Alabama is lousy when it comes to turnover margin, ranking 91st in the country at -0.40, which ties it with A&M. But the Crimson Tide gives up yards and points begrudgingly.

Alabama is allowing only 236.4 yards to rank fourth in the country and allows 11 points per game, which ranks fifth.

A&M ranks 105th in total offense (335 ypg) and 108th in scoring offense (21.8 ppg) and that’s playing against somewhat pedestrian defenses. A&M had played only one opponent that ranks in the top 40 in total defense (Mississippi State at No. 37).

Alabama is a game the Aggies could use Johnson who is 10-7 as a starter, but it will be King or Weigman if Johnson is unable to go.

“They’ll compete every day, the best player will play,” Fisher said. “Conner can play, we could put him in right now. He would be very comfortable.”

More injuries. A&M sophomore Jordan Spasojevic-Moko, who started two of the last three games at left offensive guard, posted on his Instagram on Monday that he had surgery. Spasojevic-Moko, who started against Mississippi State but was injured, was seen with a boot on his left foot on the sidelines.

A&M junior cornerback Jaylon Jones also was injured in the game and didn’t return.

Fisher said that Jones is day-to day.

Robert Cessna’s email address is

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