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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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Photo by Photo by Hanna Hausman

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said Kellen Mond will remain the Aggie’s starting quarterback despite exiting the game against Mississippi State in the fourth quarter. 

Despite freshman quarterback Kellen Mond’s subpar outing last Saturday night against Mississippi State, Texas A&M head coach, Kevin Sumlin, made it clear Tuesday afternoon there will not be a starting quarterback change for this Saturday’s game home game against Auburn. 

“We’re not opening up the QB competition right now,” Sumlin said. “Nick Starkel made some plays, but there were some issues, as well. He made a couple mistakes and a couple really nice throws. There’s some rust on him right now. The situation will remain the same.”

Mond took a hard shot to the upper part of his body on a shovel pass midway through the fourth quarter against Mississippi State, which prompted Sumlin to take Mond out of the game and put in Starkel. The hit was flagged by officials for a personal foul for roughing the passer. 

“I didn’t like the way he looked when he got hit,” Sumlin said. “He got hit up high, and he kind of laid there for a little bit,  and he got up and I didn’t like the way he looked.”

Prior to his injury, Mond looked to have taken a step back from the performances he had in recent weeks. Despite the regression, Sumlin said there were other factors that led to the drop in production, in particular the wide receivers, who weren’t doing him any favors by dropping many of Mond’s passes. 

“When he threw accurate balls, we didn’t make plays for him,” Sumlin said. 

Drops have been rather uncharacteristic of the A&M receiving corps in recent weeks, as they have been able to make big plays in key moments for their freshman quarterback. Nonetheless, junior receiver Christian Kirk was disappointed in how the receiving unit played on Saturday night.

“We didn’t play up to our standard whatsoever, I was disappointed in how we performed as a group,” Kirk said. “We know there were some plays in that game that we should have made we just didn’t come up with them. That’s on us and we’ll get better this week.”

Starkel’s entrance into the game gave the Aggies some newfound energy since he was able to move the chains and get the offense rolling. But after driving the offense down the field, Starkel threw an interception that State ran back 90 yards for a touchdown. 

On the next drive, Starkel threw a 70-yard touchdown pass, his first of the season, to freshman receiver Camron Buckley. Starkel finished the night 8-of-15 for 133 yards, while Mond ended the game 8-of-26 for 56 yards and no touchdowns. 

Perhaps Mond’s biggest strength this season has been his ability to create plays with his feet. He currently ranks third on the team in rushing yards, since he took the reins following the UCLA game. 

Despite his success on the ground, Sumlin has been reluctant to incorporate more run plays in the offense for Mond as he fears he will get injured carrying the ball. 

“He’s not Trevor Knight, who’s 220 pounds,” Sumlin said. “We have to pick and choose when to do that.” 

As for this Saturday, the Aggies will start Mond, who will have his hands full trying to get back on track against Auburn, who ranks 13 in the nation in total defense and 24 in run defense. 

The Aggies will play Auburn at 11 a.m. at Kyle Field, which will be televised on ESPN.

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