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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

What we learned: Texas A&M vs. Kentucky

Senior+Donovan+Wilson%26%23160%3Bwaves+to+hype+up+the+crowd+before+Kentuckys+overtime+drive.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Senior Donovan Wilson waves to hype up the crowd before Kentucky’s overtime drive.

1.) Kellen Mond’s roller coaster season continues
It’s no secret that sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond has struggled with turnovers throughout the past three weeks.
Saturday night’s latest turnover nearly cost A&M the game. After Mond fumbled at the A&M 43-yard line, Kentucky safety Darius West picked the ball up and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game with 4:17 left.
Even as the fumble shifted the momentum of the game, Mond kept his composure — something A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said was critical to getting the Aggies back on track.
“I thought he managed the game well,” Fisher said. “I thought he had a solid game. I thought he played a really good football game and neither of those [turnover] situations bothered him.”
Mond said that as a leader, it is up to him to keep his emotions in check so he can help maintain balance when emotions are running high for the rest of the team.
“Sometimes people were getting a little rattled on the sideline, but I think that’s my job and Trayveon’s job to keep everyone even keeled,” Mond said. “Obviously we’re going to make mistakes out there, but we’ve just got to continue to play the next play.”
2.) A new chapter in A&M’s Wrecking Crew history
A&M’s defense held Kentucky to 66 yards of offense in the second half and only 178 total yards. A&M’s rush defense was up against Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr., widely considered the best running back in the league. The Aggies were able to contain Snell to only 60 yards the entire game —a season low for Snell, who averaged 127.8 yards a game before Saturday night.
A&M junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson said while he successfully prevented Snell from having an explosive night, he still felt the defense could have allowed Snell to rush for fewer yards.
“We’re not satisfied, because he should’ve had zero yards,” Dodson said. “We’ve got to go back to work Monday.”
In a night where the A&M team wore throwback uniforms to honor the 1998 Southwest Conference champions, many fans brought back the name of the Wrecking Crew to describe the current Aggie defense. They had a stellar night defending against the run and creating pressure by sacking Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson six times.
3.) Trayveon Williams shines in the national spotlight
Going into the game, there was an immense focus on both Snell and Trayveon Williams as the top running backs in the league. Williams quietly took the title as the best throughout the game — until overtime.
With the Aggies looking to close out the victory after Kentucky missed a 43-yard field goal that bounced off the upright, the ball was given to Williams on three consecutive plays. Williams followed redshirt senior fullback Cullen Gillaspia and dove into the end zone, securing his title as one of the best running backs in the SEC.
Williams said he is grateful to the coaching staff and team for the new opportunities he’s had this season.
“I’m just glad that this offense and this coaching staff has the trust in me to put me in those situations,” Williams said.

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