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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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A&M offense needs improvement before SEC play

Photo by Meredith Seaver

Junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon had four receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown against Lamar.

The Texas A&M offense bounced back from last week’s loss to No. 1 Clemson in a big way — garnering 633 yards of total offense against Lamar.
Despite those numbers, there is still much room for the Aggies to improve before kicking off Southeastern Conference play against Auburn on Sept. 21.
One of the Aggies’ biggest concerns this season has been the passing game. Mond struggled mightily against Clemson and only managed to accumulate 236 yards, though his numbers improved against Lamar.
Those struggles don’t fall completely on Mond’s shoulders, however, as his receivers have struggled to catch his passes, especially in critical moments — something that plagued the Aggies in the first half against Lamar.
“[We had] two critical drops in the first half that cost us points,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We could have gotten points in right there that would have been really critical.”
In the 62-3 win over Lamar on Saturday, Mond was 20-of-28 passing for 317 yards with one passing touchdown and an interception.
On a first quarter third-and-5 on Lamar’s 14-yard line, Mond attempted to hit junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon with a pass that could have been a touchdown, but was dropped. The Aggies were then forced to settle for a field goal.
Ausbon said the drop will stay with him for a long time.
“I’m honestly mad because I dropped the ball,” Ausbon said. “I just try to do everything I can on each play. Coach Fisher calls the plays and Kellen threw it. I just want to make sure I don’t have any more drops this season.”
A&M also struggled to convert on third down in the red zone in the first quarter, settling for two field goals. The Aggies had little trouble marching down the field early in the game, but once they got in the red zone, their momentum puttered out. The team found more success in this area as the game went on, but it is something that has plagued A&M in each of its games this season.
Ausbon said the team needs to capitalize on red zone drives moving into SEC competition.
“Scoring in the red zone is our biggest thing,” Ausbon said. We moved the ball well. We had the drive that I stopped when I dropped the ball. In terms of last week we definitely played better.”
Penalties have also proven extremely costly for A&M in their last few games. Against Lamar, the Aggies had seven penalties for 53 yards.
“In terms of what we did good, it was definitely good,” Ausbon said. “But the small mistakes, self-inflicted wounds, we can’t have those in SEC [play] because great teams in our conference capitalize on those. Those are small things that separate great teams from good teams.”
With a tough SEC schedule to follow in the coming weeks, Fisher said the Aggies need to be sharper offensively.
“I wish we didn’t have a turnover,” Fisher said. “You never want those. [There were] a couple drops which we could have gotten cleaned up. We still need to be a little cleaner on offense, but I’ve never been in an offensive game that I thought shouldn’t have been cleaner.”

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