The Jimbo Fisher era kicked off Thursday evening in College Station as Texas A&M rolled past Northwestern St 59-7 in front of 95,000+ at Kyle Field.
There was a noticeable difference about this 2018 Texas A&M Football Team: sharper, more physical and complete attention to execution. It might explain why the Aggie offense rolled to 758 total yards, the second best performance in school history behind a 774-yard game vs. ULL in 1990.
Or why Junior running back Tayveon Williams reintroduced himself to the College Football world with a career high 240 yards on the ground…in just slightly over two quarters of play. Or why Jace Sternberger showed everyone in College Station what a tight end can do, catching two touchdowns from Kellen Mond.
Regardless of which reason you pick, one thing is clear: Jimbo Fisher has arrived in Kyle Field and is here to stay. The Aggies 52-point win was the biggest win for a head coach since Coach Bible’s 66-point win in 1917.
Earlier this week, it was announced that sophomore Kellen Mond had earned the role of starting quarterback after a close fall competition with sophomore Nick Starkel. Although it was clear both quarterbacks would be getting snaps in during the first game, Mond would be leading the charge.
Last night, Kellen Mond looked how a starting quarterback should look. Going 17-for-25 for 184 yards and two touchdowns through the air while scoring another on the ground, Mond looked in charge every time he stepped out on the field.
In the third quarter, Mond’s perfect read of the defense and play call change led to Trayveon Williams busting a 40-yard touchdown run. Mond was efficient with the ball and his clock management decisions in the closing moments of the second quarter as the Aggies aggressively drove down for the late touchdown was phenomenal.
I do not think the quarterback competition is over between Mond and Starkel, but I do think Mond made a significant stride to remain the starter for next week’s match vs. Clemson.
Throughout the summer workouts and fall camp, one note was brought up again and again: Trayveon Williams is going to have a special 2018 season. All of those rumors proved to be true Thursday night as Williams helped the Texas A&M offense rack up over 500 yards on the ground.
Accounting for nearly 50% of the Aggie rushing yards, Williams rushed for a career-high 240 yards and three touchdowns. Williams wasted no time in establishing the Aggie run game, taking the ball 73 yards to the house on Texas A&M’s third offensive play. Kwame Etwi had a solid performance as well, racking up 83 yards on eight carries and one touchdown.
One of the keys for success for Texas A&M this season will be the consistency of the Aggie offensive line. The offensive line performed well Thursday night, only allowing two sacks but more importantly, they allowed the Texas A&M run game to make its mark. It was clear this coaching staff has put an emphasis on establishing the Aggie run game and Thursday night was a great first step.
Thursday night was not a perfect outing for Texas A&M. A bad Aggie turnover led to a 71-yard touchdown pass by Northwestern St, their only score of the evening. The offensive line gave up two sacks while the Aggie defense failed to record either a sack or a turnover.
Both Donovan Wilson and Otaro Alaka were ejected early due to separate targeting fouls that were upheld after review. However, Texas A&M did exactly what they needed to do in their first game of the season: the dominated from the start to the finish.
The competition takes a huge step up next week as Texas A&M welcomes the No. 2 Clemson Tigers to Kyle Field.