Starting conference play with a bang – Arkansas
Nicholls and ULL weren’t exactly the strongest competition, but those were the ideal opponents to play while Texas A&M figured things out. Arkansas ended up being much tougher. They were a fellow SEC team led by a tough-as-nails senior quarterback. And this one was away from the friendly confines of Kyle Field.
The Aggies didn’t actually take the lead until the second half, but the first half was highlighted by, again, a Kellen Mond touchdown pass to Christian Kirk. The impressive 81-yard strike stood in the face of his critics who had doubted his arm strength earlier in the year.
The maroon and white added a field goal after a would-be 89-yard touchdown run by Mond. Instead he was ruled out of bounds by the stellar referee crew of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. The SEC actually appologized for the incorrect call midway through the game.
Mond didn’t end up throwing another touchdown pass until overtime. Mond potentially had a chance to win it in regulation, but Texas A&M went with the field goal instead, presumably to not put too much pressure on the true freshman in a single moment.
In a short time, Mond has come a long way
For me, it takes a special kind of young man to end up leading a team to victory in overtime in only his third career start. As a true freshman. The final line of 14-of-27 attempts for 216 yards isn’t quite as accurate as the line from the ULL game, but this wasn’t ULL. This was a legitimate SEC opponent that I was expecting A&M to lose to at several points in the game. Oh, and Mond rushed for 109 yards, as well. That’s really not too shabby.
Mond is still a true freshman and the season is young. I think he’ll have several more brilliant moments, but I think he’ll also still have growing pains. However, when it’s all said and done, I have to say that he has legitimately shown some real growth as a player. If you look at his numbers right now compared to three weeks ago, it’s really Mond-umental.
**stats from 12thman.com**