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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M struggles against Alabama in eighth consecutive loss to the Tide

Senior+quarterback+Kellen+Mond+had+318+passing+yards+and+19+rushing+yards+against+Alabama.
Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Senior quarterback Kellen Mond had 318 passing yards and 19 rushing yards against Alabama.

No. 13 Texas A&M traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Saturday to face No. 2 Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The maroon and white’s self-inflicted wounds in the form of seven penalties and recurring communication issues hurt the Aggies in a 52-24 loss to the Crimson Tide.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said the miscommunications hurt the Aggies on some critical drives.
“We had some opportunities to keep matching scores,” Fisher said. “We had a series where our skill guys were missing signals and got confused on signals. We had to use a couple timeouts. Another big opportunity, we came back to 14-14. We have a chance there … Our kids were resilient about competing and coming back. We just have to take advantage of opportunities.”
Although senior quarterback Kellen Mond managed to surpass 9,000 total career yards, A&M’s offense struggled to pose a threat with young wide receivers and was quickly shut down in the run game.
The Aggies began the game on offense and ended a decent first drive with a missed 37-yard field goal by junior Seth Small. Alabama was quick to get on the board with a successful third-and-long attempt as junior quarterback Mac Jones connected with sophomore wide receiver John Metchie III for a 78-yard touchdown.
On Alabama’s next drive, senior running back Najee Harris found the endzone to extend the lead over the Aggies, 14-0. Soon after, the Aggies’ offense came alive with a 47-yard pass from Mond to sophomore Ainais Smith. Smith tip-toed down the sideline for a touchdown late in the first quarter, making the score 14-7.
To kick off the second quarter, defensive end DeMarvin Leal intercepted Jones’ pass in the neutral zone. A&M capitalized on the Tide’s miscue and gained momentum with a 17-yard pass, resulting in a touchdown by tight end Ryan Renick. Renick’s first career touchdown, along with a successful extra-point from Small, allowed the Aggies to tie the game at 14.
Another rushing touchdown in the redzone for Harris allowed the Tide to take the lead once again. Alabama’s Daniel Wright then picked off one of Mond’s passes and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown. This pick-six marked 15 consecutive games in which Alabama created a turnover.
Mond said that play was one of the critical errors that cost A&M the game.
“I didn’t think I played up to my full potential last week,” Mond said. “I felt like I had the right mentality and thought I was seeing the field really well. [It was] a couple of details that cost us and made that game a lot worse than what it was.”
The Tide advanced its lead to 35-14 with a passing touchdown to senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Alabama’s wide receivers consistently proved their ability to create separation from A&M’s secondary, which allowed the Tide to have 435 total passing yards. The late Alabama touchdown gave them a 21-point lead to end the first half.
The Tide’s first offensive drive of the second half resulted in a punt, followed by a field goal for the Aggies. Alabama regained momentum with a perfectly executed 87-yard completion from Jones to junior wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, then added three more points with a field goal on the next drive. Waddle had 142 yards as the Tide’s second leading receiver, behind Metchie III with 181 yards.
A&M’s Smith accumulated his second touchdown of the day with a 14-yard pass from Mond. Smith was the Aggies’ leading receiver on the day with 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Alabama quickly scored again with a 63-yard pass from Jones to Metchie III, his second touchdown of the day to cap off scoring at 52-24. Jones racked up 435 passing yards against A&M’s defense, a career-high, with four touchdowns.
True freshman Haynes King replaced Mond in the Aggies’ last offensive drive of the game. Before throwing an interception in the endzone, the backup quarterback showcased his powerful arm and ability to run, as he accumulated 43 yards on five carries, becoming the leading rusher of the game for A&M.
The size and strength of Alabama’s defense shut down sophomore running backs Isaiah Spiller and Smith and A&M’s pass defense was no match for the Tide’s exceptionally talented and athletic receivers. The Aggies, now 1-1, have a lot of work to do before next week’s matchup, Fisher said.
“We have to understand how to maximize our opportunities,” Fisher said. “Every play matters. We have to do it on a more consistent basis. There’s some good and bad, but two games in, there’s a lot of work to be done but it’s there and we just have to have the urgency.”
A&M will host Florida, another top-5 team, Oct. 10 at Kyle Field.

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