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.
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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