Texas A&M Football: 5 Things we need to see against Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Kevin Sumlin of the Texas A
TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Kevin Sumlin of the Texas A /
2 of 5
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

2. Kellen Mond must continue to develop

One thing that the Ags have needed to see every week and most definitely have, is quarterback production. Kellen Mond has grown as a player at such a rate, he’ll be a first or second round draft pick one day. Since his debut in Las Angeles, Mond has a TD:INT ratio of 3:1 and a QBR of 132.55. If A&M didn’t have such a dominating run game, I’m sure his rating would be a good deal higher.

Saturday, we’ll need to see him grow even more. Alabama has eight interceptions on the year and has yet to turn the ball over. If the Aggies want to stay in the game, they can’t make a bunch of mistakes.

Young quarterbacks are known for forcing passes which is something that Mond has gotten away with from time to time this year. Alabama’s corners aren’t going to let that stuff slide so Mond is going to have to find another man to throw it to, find a running lane, or just accept that fact that he may have to take a sack. Mond has matured a lot the past few weeks, but we’ll need to see more maturity than ever.

More: Top 10 quarterbacks in Texas A&M history

His pocket presence and footwork are going to be a big factor as well. Avoiding pressure and extending plays will give himself more time to throw. In the past, the Tide have struggled with mobile quarterbacks. If Mond can use his legs as much as he can, the defense will have to respect his run ability which should result in less coverage down the field. Composure under pressure is tough and hard to learn, but Mond may not have a choice come game time.

Do we need him to have a career day? Of course not. But the growth and learning needs to continue to happen. My high school coach always said, “You’re either getting better, or you’re getting worse.” We don’t need Mond to become Peyton Manning overnight, but each step he takes to become a better quarterback is a game well worth it. I try to look at Mond as a statue. At the beginning, it may not be the most beautiful thing. It might be a little rough around the edges and you may not be able to tell what it’s going to look like. But if you time and effort into it, trust the sculptor (or perhaps sculptors), and stay patient, an incredible masterpiece will emerge.

In short, we need to see Mond continue to develop, think a little smarter, stay composed, and still use his legs when necessary. Yes, the Aggie fans may be asking too much from the 18-year-old true freshman, but that’s perfectly okay. If he wants to become big time, he’ll have to be put in big-time situations.