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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

What we learned from Texas A&M’s loss to No. 2 Clemson

Kendrick+Rodgers
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
Kendrick Rodgers

Texas A&M had nothing to lose as they welcomed No. 2 Clemson to Aggieland in the second week of the season. The Tigers had a little more riding on this game and A&M, now led by Jimbo Fisher, was looking for an upset.
For a split second, Clemson saw the slipping through their fingers before a failed two-point conversion sealed the 28-26 victory over the Aggies. 
The real Jimbo Fisher era began on Saturday, Sept. 8. 
With the 59-7 domination over Northwestern State last week, there wasn’t much of a gauge as to how far the A&M program has come since Fisher took over the program. National championship winner Dabo Swinney’s visit to Kyle Field was the first true test of the program’s progress. The Aggies might not have prevailed on the field, but they were able to prove to the nation they are a force to be reckoned with.
For Fisher, this game is just the start of something better.
“I think you can see the chance in this team that we can have,” Fisher said.
Kellen Mond is QB1
One play silenced those who still doubted Jimbo Fisher’s decision to name sophomore quarterback Mond the starter over red shirt sophomore Nick Starkel. In the third quarter, Mond was forced to exit the game for one play after a leg cramp. In that one play, Starkel fumbled the ball, which was intercepted in mid-air. The fumble later resulted in a Clemson touchdown.
Even with the mistake, Mond said he completely believes in Starkel’s ability to come in at any moment and play.
“I always feel confident in Nick and the ball in his hands,” Mond said. But it was Mond’s poise in the fourth quarter that  truly cemented him as the main man under center. With 104,000-plus in the stands screaming and an All-American defense to contend with, Mond was composed and calculated as he went through his progressions to find the right receivers and make plays.
Young wide receiving corps? No problem. 
The top three leading receivers on the team were all true sophomores. Kendrick Rogers was Mond’s biggest target in the game with seven receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns, including the potentially game-tying touchdown on the goal line with 26 seconds left in the game.
“When I saw the ball get tipped I was kind of worried honestly,” Rogers said. “But I just kept fighting for the ball and made a great catch.”

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