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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

A&M sees improvement, but still no consistency

Junior+quarterback+Kellen+Mond+had+90+rushing+yards+against+the+Crimson+Tide.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Junior quarterback Kellen Mond had 90 rushing yards against the Crimson Tide.

The Aggies got the fast start they had been looking for, but it ended just as soon as it started.
Junior quarterback Kellen Mond led the A&M offense on a 10-play, 75-yard drive which he capped off with a one-yard dive into the end zone for the Aggies’ first opening-drive score of the season, and their only first-quarter score against a ranked opponent this year.
Quartney Davis said the up-tempo first drive was part of A&M’s game plan heading into the matchup.
“Our plan was to come out, start fast,” Davis said. “We had some great play-calling at the beginning of the game that helped us get down the field and score.”
On A&M’s next possession, however, all that momentum was gone.
After No. 1 Alabama answered with a score of its own, the Aggies reverted back to their old ways on each following drive and never found a groove. The rest of A&M’s drives in the first half ended in two punts, two field goals, and a fumble.
An inability to convert on third down hurt the Aggies the most, as they were only successful on five of 12 attempts due to offensive miscues, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said.
“We had a sack, a missed run, a dropped ball, a missed throw,” Fisher said. “We still moved it [well], but at the same time you can’t have that against a team like that.”
The Aggies needed a rushing attack to help out Mond, who was 24-of-42 passing with 264 yards, but that’s not what they got. Mond accounted for 90 yards on 16 rushes. A&M’s two other rushers — freshman Isaiah Spiller and sophomore Jacob Kibodi — added 27 and eight rushing yards respectively.
When the run game started to struggle, Davis said it was difficult to find a rhythm with the pass.
“We try to feed off each other,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the run game going. We just try to feed off the run or pass game, whichever one pops.”
After the quick first drive, A&M shifted its focus to keeping up with Alabama rather than concentrating on each play, Mond said.
“One of our big things [was] getting off to a good start,” Mond said. “We just couldn’t do enough to keep up with their offense. We have to be better on offense. It doesn’t matter how much they score, we have to score more.”
Alabama’s offensive dominance caused the Aggies to get in their own head, Fisher said.
“[They] scored a lot of points on offense,” Fisher said. “They got going, and you’re trying to not get behind. They’re a good run defense, they play the run very well.”
Though there are comparisons between A&M’s loss to No. 1 Alabama and then-No. 1 Clemson, Mond said the Aggies were much improved facing a top-ranked team this time around.
“I felt for one time in a while we fought for the whole entire game,” Mond said. “That’s something we didn’t really do prior to this. [Against] Clemson, we came off really sluggish in the first half and then kind of picked it up in the second half. Same thing with Auburn. We have to play a little more consistent, but I definitely feel like we’re in the right direction.”

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