Back Collapse Could Change Things for Sumlin, Aggies

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Collapse Could Change Things for Sumlin, Aggies

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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In roughly one hour of real-time, the "hot seat" narrative around Kevin Sumlin's job security changed dramatically.

With just over two minutes to play in the third quarter, Texas A&M led UCLA 44-10, a commanding lead in a, to-that-point, dominating performance where the Aggies had rushed for five touchdowns. Over the last 17:06, the Bruins then scored an unfathomable 35 unanswered points. A Josh Rosen touchdown pass, a signature throw following a fake-spike with 43 seconds remaining, ultimately gave UCLA a storybook 45-44 win.

After looking like a national power for much of the evening, Texas A&M ended the game on the wrong side of history. Albeit the first game on the Aggies' schedule, the collapse may leave a lasting impression. Though there is no shame in a traditional one-point defeat at the Rose Bowl, the manner in which Texas A&M lost will be difficult to overcome. The way it happened, quite frankly, makes this setback different. 

Fair or unfair, the pressure is now even greater on head coach Kevin Sumlin. In roughly one hour of real-time, the "hot seat" narrative around his job security changed dramatically. Some pundits entered the season believing Sumlin needed a strong showing to be back for another year; somehow, after a 34-point second-half lead in week one, this start is not the one that was needed.

Rosen, UCLA's star quarterback, overcame initial struggles to throw for 491 yards, with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone. While Texas A&M had a rushing performances for the ages, the Aggies, with Nick Starkel injured, could not find any productivity in the passing game and missed a late field goal attempt, in addition to their obvious defensive collapse. The Bruins amassed 396 yards on their final five offensive possessions alone.  

The UCLA comeback, and Texas A&M's corresponding unraveling, was the largest in over a decade in major college football. Looking ahead, the currently-reeling Aggies have winnable games upcoming before their schedule toughens. There is certainly a chance Sumlin and Texas A&M can get back on track. 

After Sunday night, however, the question must be asked: will it be enough?

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports