A&M had a young team, and had to play 20 sophomores in important roles. Dan McIlhany took over the quarterbacking duties. A&M began the season with a 9-6 loss to LSU. The following week, Houston held A&M to 33 rushing yards in a 10-0 win. McIlhany ran for a touchdown and threw for a 14-yard touchdown against Tech, but A&M bowed out, 16-12, at Kyle Field to fall to 0-3. In Los Angeles, A&M gained one first down in the first half, and USC cruised to a 31-7 win. In a battle for the SWC cellar, TCU prevailed over A&M, 14-9. It was the first time since 1948 that A&M had lost its first five games. Eddie McKaughan took over at quarterback and nearly led an upset over Baylor, but A&M fell late, 20-16. After being shut out by No. 4 Arkansas, the Aggies got their first win of the season, 23-0, over lowly SMU. A&M hung tough with Texas, keeping the game tied at seven going into the second half. But the Horns' talent was too much, and UT won, 26-7. Coach Hank Foldberg was relieved of his duties after compiling a 6-23-1 record in his three seasons. A&M hired former Junction Boy Gene Stallings off of Paul "Bear" Bryant’s staff at Alabama. At 29, Stallings was the youngest coach in the country. According to The Fightin' Texas Aggies by Gene Schoor, Stallings told the A&M Board of Directors, "We will win the championship within three years, or you can have the job back."