November 18, 2008

Johnson still confident despite struggles in Waco

It was supposed to be senior quarterback Stephen McGee's year under center in 2008, but a recurring shoulder injury in his throwing arm first suffered in the second week of the season made the 2008 season the first as a starter for sophomore quarterback Jerrod Johnson. After a few shaky outings against New Mexico and Miami, Johnson settled down and turned into one of the most promising signal-callers in a league full of gunslingers.

Johnson put together a string of games that has now seen him become the first 400-yard passer in one game in A&M history and break the single-season touchdown mark with 20 - a mark tied in 2002 by Dustin Long but not broken in 26 years. Johnson also strung together 213 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, which tied Reggie McNeal for the A&M and Big 12 conference record.

His next two passes against Oklahoma were interceptions and then he was replaced by McGee in a blowout loss. Against Baylor, ugly habits returned in a turnover-marred game in which Johnson threw four interceptions and fumbled once.

But even with an outing he would love to forget, A&M head coach Mike Sherman continues to have confidence in Johnson and said that Johnson's confidence in himself never seem to waver in Waco.

"If I thought he was lacking in confidence during the game as a result of turning the ball over, I would have made a change. He came off the sideline and told me exactly what he did wrong and he was pretty poised about it and never seemed really shaken," Sherman said. "Overall, I know five turnovers is a lot and it's a lot to overcome, but he didn't seem to be shaken confidence-wise and it takes a lot to shake him. He was disappointed in the game as was I, but we looked at the tape (Monday) and I just got done talking to him and it takes a lot for him to lose confidence."

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