While Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond struggled mightily in the Aggies’ 24-10 loss to No. 1 Clemson, Tigers’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence played like the Heisman Trophy contender he is.
Mond managed 236 passing yards, going 24-of-42; Lawrence’s numbers were just slightly higher as he was 24-of-35 for 268 yards.
The difference, though, came in the two signal callers’ ability to manage the game when the passing attack wasn’t working.
Mond had some success in this area in the first quarter, as the Aggies controlled much of the game and garnered 74 total yards of offense, rushing for 40 of those. A&M’s time of possession in the first quarter was 10:03, while Clemson’s was 4:57.
That fell apart in the second half when A&M needed it most, however. The Aggies added only one rushing yard before halftime for a measly 18 offensive yards in the second quarter. A&M then managed only 12 rushing yards after halftime.
Lawrence, on the other hand, was able to help his offense find and maintain momentum with 226 passing yards in the final three quarters of the game.
Mond’s passing struggles came early as it took him five attempts to complete his first pass of the game. In the first quarter, Mond was 3-of-10 for 34 passing yards. He also had a fumble and a red zone interception during the game.
Mond said he obviously didn’t play his best in the game and he takes much of the blame for the loss.
“I didn’t play up to par and what it takes to win a game against a team like this,” Mond told 12thMan.com. “If I don’t play that way, I don’t expect anyone else to play that way.”
He finally started to get in a groove in the fourth quarter with 121 passing yards, but by that point, it was too late for the Aggies to make a comeback, Mond said.
“It felt like we started to [find momentum] once we got in the second half, but [with] a team like [Clemson], you can’t really wait that long,” Mond told 12thMan.com. “We have to come out better and come out a lot earlier against a team like this.”
All of the blame does not rest on Mond’s shoulders alone. Five offensive penalties - four for false starts - killed what little momentum the Aggies mustered.
“In this game of college football, and in any sport, momentum is huge,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher told 12thMan.com. “When you keep moving the ball, you have momentum and good things happen. [Clemson] had more momentum plays [than we did].”