No. 7 Texas A&M defeated South Carolina 48-3 during its sixth game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 7. A&M now has a 5-1 season record. Here’s what we learned:
After becoming A&M’s all-time total yards leader against the Arkansas Razorbacks, senior quarterback Kellen Mond did not let his performance falter. Against South Carolina, the signal caller threw for 224 yards and also threw four touchdowns. Against South Carolina, he became A&M’s leader in all-time passing touchdowns, currently holding the record with 68. Mond is approaching A&M’s all-time record for total touchdowns, as he is responsible for 87 touchdowns. The record is currently held by 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel with 93.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Kellen played well.
“Our offensive and defensive lines came to play,” Fisher said. “Kellen kept making the play action passes and the plays with his legs and his feet, just his reads, [he] did a good job.”
In his third year at A&M, Jimbo Fisher has established his culture and shaken up the football program. With how the season is going so far, one can see that when Fisher has a lead he maintains it. This was on display against the Gamecocks, as the Aggies barely let South Carolina put anything on the scoreboard. He is continuously engaged with coaching his players, which can especially be seen by his relationship with Mond. The Aggies have not lost since the second game of the season against Alabama and are projected to finish the season strong, thanks in part to Fisher.
Wydermyer said A&M is now well-known in the SEC.
“We are definitely known in the SEC,” Wydermyer said. “We are turning heads and doing a lot of things that people didn’t think we were going to be able to do. So if we keep going game to game, week for week, we are going to keep turning heads and keep proving people wrong.”
The A&M defense shut out the Gamecocks through the third quarter, not allowing them to score until a field goal in the fourth quarter. South Carolina had a chance to score in the second quarter, taking a drive into the red zone before a sack by senior linebacker Aaron Hansford forced the Gamecocks to attempt a field goal that they missed.The Gamecocks did not get another chance to score until late in the fourth quarter, and they capitalized on it with a field goal. Those were the only points the A&M defense allowed, further solidifying that this could be the year of the new Wrecking Crew.
Junior defensive tackle Bobby Brown III said the defense had faith in its preparation.
“We just trusted the process, trusted Coach [Mike] Elko and his game plan and just played Aggie football,” Brown said. “That’s all we did, we didn’t change anything we just came and played and got the win.”
Sophomore tight end Jalen Wydermyer has established himself as a key part of A&M’s offense. Wdyermyer recorded two consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter against the Gamecocks. The 6-foot-5, 250 pound tight end also put up 35 receiving yards with his longest going for 15 yards.
Wydermyer said he was pleased when he touched the endzone for his second consecutive touchdown.
“I was very happy, I was very excited,” Wydermyer said. “My teammates come and try and dance with me and stuff and whenever we get an endzone I’m always happy. I’m going to go celebrate.”
The running game
The Aggies put up one rushing touchdown and 264 overall rushing yards, beating out the Gamecocks’ total rushing yards by over five times, as South Carolina only managed 50. Mond scored the fourth touchdown of the night early in the third quarter by running it into the endzone, and added 34 yards of his own to the run game. Despite leaving the game during A&M’s first drive of the second half, sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller led the Aggies in total rushing yards with 131.
Wydermyer said the strong rushers A&M have created opportunities for him on the field.
“When you have Isaiah and Ainias and even Achane running the ball like they do, the linebackers have no choice but to step up, and everybody gets drived in the backfield and that’s when I just slip out and plays like that happen,” Wydermyer said. “Play action is really big for our offense.”