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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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June 16, 2024

Offense shows promise, but unable to get past No. 2 Clemson

Sophomore+Kellen+Mond+is+being+protected+from+a+defense-man+by+an+offensive+lineman.
Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Sophomore Kellen Mond is being protected from a defense-man by an offensive lineman.

In what was a closely contested game with the No. 2 team in the country, Texas A&M’s offense came just a two-point conversion away from taking the game into overtime on Saturday against Clemson.
With 2:13 remaining in the game, what looked to be a diving catch at the two-yard line for sophomore Quartney Davis ended as a fumble through the end zone that went for a touchback. A call that seemed to dash any hope of a comeback for A&M.
“Obviously, it was out of bounds,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I didn’t think so, obviously. That’s a tough call to make in my opinion. That should be called from upstairs…At the same time, that’s calls. We can’t whine over calls. It happened, that’s ball man.”
However, the defense forced a three and out, and the Aggie offense had favorable field position with less than a minute to play. The drive resulted in a 24-yard Kendrick Rogers touchdown after the ball bounced off a Clemson defender. A&M attempted to tie the game with a two-point conversion, but quarterback Kellen Mond threw an interception in the end zone, effectively ending the game. 
“I’m not going to lie, when Kendrick had that touchdown on the goal line, that was definitely a great feeling with the crowd when I walked over to coach Fisher,” Mond said. “It was definitely one of the greater feelings of that game. I wish we could have gotten that two-point conversion though.”
A&M’s offense showed their depth and young talent at wide receiver. Rogers led the way with 120 yards and two touchdowns, with fellow sophomores Camron Buckley and Jhamon Ausbon also proving to be reliable targets. Both going for 93 yards and 61 yards, respectively.
“I think that our receivers made a lot of big plays and showed what they can do on a big time stage,” Mond said. “It’s nothing that surprises me. I know they’ve worked so hard over the offseason and in practice…The performance by them tonight doesn’t surprise me.”
Mond completed 23 of his 40 passes on the night, throwing for 430 yards and three touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading rusher, with 31 yards.
Fisher said he was pleased with Mond’s performance and the way he puts it all out on the field.
“Competitor and leader,” Fisher said of his quarterback. “He’s a guys that put his heart and soul on the field and laid it out there. He makes plays with his arms, and he makes plays with his legs. The guys love him and follow him…The moment was not too big for him, and I loved it.”
It was a tough ask for the offensive line against a talented Clemson front. The Aggies were unable to establish a running attack, totaling only 71 yards on the ground. However, Mond was only sacked three times.
“We had an alright game,” center Erik McCoy said. “They’re a great defensive front, but we have to be better in pass and the run game. We have to be better in all of it. I’ll take personal responsibility for that.”
The offense totaled 501 yards against a staunch defense and converted three of their four red zone chances. Overall, Fisher was pleased with his team’s performance, but understands that the season is still young.
“Take pride in how you competed in the game,” Fisher said. “It doesn’t matter that it’s the No. 2 team in the country. It matters how you play in the game and how you compete in the game… Now you take it and move on, and keep doing it at a better pace and a more consistent pace.”

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