Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman summed up quarterback Jerrod Johnson's inconsistent performance tonight against Oklahoma State with one of the season's biggest understatments:
"He made some great throws, and he missed some," Sherman said of Johnson, who threw for 409 yards and five touchdowns in the Aggies' 38-35 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. Johnson also threw four interceptions, including one in the final minute that set up the Cowboys' winning, 40-yard field goal as time expired.
Johnson's fifth turnover of the night, a fourth-quarter fumble, was returned 63 yards for a touchdown by OSU linebacker James Thomas.
After the game, in which A&M squandered a 21-7 halftime lead, Sherman said he was "disappointed we didn't win this football game. We put a lot into it and had some opportunities. I think it's pretty evident we can't turn the ball over."
Equally evident is the fact that Johnson, a senior who threw only eight interceptions last season, is throwing way too many picks in 2010. He has thrown eight in the Aggies' last two games, including four in one quarter during a 27-20 victory over Florida Atlantic on Sept. 18.
Sherman said some of tonight's interceptions were Johnson's fault but others were not. Here is his take:
"On one interception, it came off our freshman tight end on the backside and (Johnson) ws being hit as he let the ball go," Sherman said. "On another one, our freshman left tackle didn't cut the guy, didn't get (the defender's) hands down, didn't get him to do anything, and then (the OSU defender) tipped the ball. That was intercepted. I probably should have made some better calls along the way, but then he's accountable for some of those as well."
The last interception, said Sherman, was all on Johnson, who overthrew his intended receiver but found OSU's Shaun Lewis. After a 28-yard return, Oklahoma State had possession at the A&M 40-yard line with 16 seconds remaining. Three plays later, Dan Bailey's 40-yard field goal ended the contest.
In terms of Johnson's final interception to set up the Cowboys' winning kick, Sherman said: "It's just unfortunate at the end, we tried to muscle on in there and we didn't quite do it. We overthrew it and it went into (Lewis') hands."
_ Jimmy Burch