It might have been a surprise to Texas A&M fans that quarterback Kyler Murray did not see the field when starter Kyle Allen was benched Saturday in a 23-3 loss to Ole Miss. But Murray and the team knew it was going to happen, according to a report.
John P. Lopez of CBS Houston reported Sunday that Murray was told early in the week that he would not play against Ole Miss because of his behavior on the sideline in a loss against Alabama the previous week. Lopez reported that Murray “went full F-bomb” on assistant coach Jake Spavital after throwing an interception against the Crimson Tide. Lopez also reported that Murray didn’t take any snaps with the first-team offense during the week, and the decision caused a rift among Murray’s and Allen’s teammates.
“Players began taking sides in the locker-room more than ever, some believing Allen’s physical (shoulder) and mental struggles should have opened the door for Murray to get a legitimate chance to make the team his,” Lopez wrote.
“Some players also believed Murray should have been left at home, rather than face the embarrassment of national television cameras focused on him any time Allen made a mistake. Then, the worst-case scenario happened. Allen wasn’t just bad. He was awful. And there was Murray, shamed on the sideline, for all the college football world to see.”
There had been chatter on the Internet that Murray’s behavior was part of the reason coach Kevin Sumlin went to third-string quarterback Jake Hubenak after Allen had a stretch where he completed 2-of-22 passes for minus-4 yards and an interception. After the game, Sumlin said the decision was “based on practice.”
This is certainly a situation to monitor for the Aggies, who have lost two straight and are likely out of the SEC West title race, and for Murray, an uber-talented, former 5-star true freshman quarterback who chose Texas A&M after a much-publicized recruitment process.