EditorsNote: deletes “a” in 1st graf
Kellen Mond passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score to help No. 12 Texas A&M earn an easy 41-7 victory over Texas State on Thursday in College Station, Texas, in the season opener for both teams.
Now comes the hard part: Texas A&M heads on the road next week to play top-ranked Clemson, the defending national champion, the first of the Aggies’ three games this season versus teams ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the preseason poll.
The Aggies cruised to a 28-0 lead at halftime behind Mond’s two TD passes and one scoring run, plus near-flawless play from their defense. Texas A&M freshman Isaiah Spiller and starting running back Jashaun Corbin rushed for 106 and 103 yards, respectively.
Texas A&M had just seven interceptions in all of the 2018 season, but it nabbed four in the first three quarters on Thursday. The Aggies didn’t commit a penalty in the first half and outgained the Bobcats 257-93 despite starting four of their drives on the Texas State side of the field.
The Aggies got on the board on their second possession of the game, marching 72 yards in nine plays to a 21-pass from Mond to Quartney Davis for a 7-0 lead.
Texas A&M expanded the lead to two touchdowns on a 1-yard scoring run by Corbin that came six plays after an interception by the Aggies’ Leon O’Neal Jr.
Mond scored on a 5-yard run that pushed the A&M advantage to 21-0 at the 7:25 mark of the second period. He then hit Corbin out of the backfield for a 3-yard TD pass with 3:05 to play in the second quarter after another interception, this one by the Aggies’ Myles Jones.
Texas A&M added to its lead with a 22-yard field goal by Seth Small with 3:37 to play in the third quarter following Jones’ second interception of the game.
Mond’s 1-yard TD pass to Jhamon Ausbon on the first play of the fourth quarter ended the starting quarterback’s successful debut. The touchdown came two snaps after an 85-yard run by Spiller.
Small’s 26-yard field goal with 4:57 to play capped the scoring for A&M.
The Bobcats, who are a member of the Sun Belt Conference, managed just 219 yards of total offense, with 84 of those coming on a late scoring drive. Backup quarterback Gresch Jensen threw a 27-yard TD pass to Trevis Graham Jr. with 36 seconds to play.
—Field Level Media