COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Mike Sherman era at Texas A&M got off to a disastrous start. Reggie Arnold rushed for 145 yards and Arkansas State ruined Sherman's debut as A&M's coach with a stunning 18-14 win over the Aggies on Saturday night. The Red Wolves won for the first time in 15 games against Big 12 opponents and snapped A&M's 20-game winning streak in home openers. The Aggies hadn't dropped a home opener since a 17-3 loss to LSU in 1987, and this one will go down as one of the most embarrassing losses in school history. "I'm very disappointed,” Sherman said. "Am I discouraged? No, I'm not discouraged. But I am disappointed. I expected to win at home.” A&M hired Sherman last November, less than a week after Dennis Franchione resigned following the season finale against Texas. Exactly five years ago Saturday, Franchione defeated Arkansas State 26-11 in his A&M debut. This time, the Aggies built a 14-3 lead, then self-destructed in the second half with four turnovers, a missed field goal and several blown defensive plays. The Aggies play at New Mexico next week, suddenly a must-win with the difficult Big 12 slate looming ahead. Sherman coached the Green Bay Packers from 2000-05 and spoke from experience when he tried to settle his team after the game. "I've been in situations like this before,” he said. "I told the guys you can learn more about yourself from adversity than you ever can from winning a game. I just think we have to get back to work.” Arkansas State quarterback Corey Leonard threw for 160 yards and a touchdown and the Red Wolves earned their biggest victory since moving to Division I-A in 1992. The Red Wolves tied for fifth in the Sun Belt last season. Coach Steve Roberts, starting his seventh season, said the most significant victory for his program will come when the Wolves clinch a conference championship. This will suffice for now. "Obviously, this is huge,” Roberts said. "As I told our team, I don't want to diminish the way they feel about this at all. But I want them to use it to build to even higher goals.” Josh Arauco kicked four field goals, including a 37-yarder with 1:12 left, forcing the Aggies to go for a winning touchdown. A&M drove inside the Arkansas State 35 in the final minute, but linebacker Ben Owens intercepted a tipped pass by Stephen McGee with seven seconds remaining and the Wolves ran out the clock.
Texas A&M's Stephen McGee, left, is sacked by Arkansas State defensive back Dominique Williams during the second quarter of Saturday's game in College Station, Texas. Associated press