QB Kellen Mond becomes A&M’s career total yards leader

Here are five takeaways from No. 8 Texas A&M’s 42-31 win over Arkansas:

Defense overcomes slow start

On its first drive, Arkansas went 87 yards on 12 plays to open scoring in its first visit to Aggieland since 2012. However, after allowing 63 rushing yards on the opening drive, which included a 28-yard run by Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, A&M gave up just 56 yards before halftime. Arkansas finished the game with 222 rushing yards and 239 passing.

Not only did the Aggies’ run defense improve after the opening drive, but the pass rush saw improvement as well. Junior defensive end Tyree Johnson sacked Franks for a loss of six yards on a third-and-7, as the Aggies brought down Franks four times in the game. Junior defensive tackle Bobby Brown III recorded two of A&M’s sacks.

Mond continues breaking school records

Senior quarterback Kellen Mond was a threat both through the air and on the ground against Arkansas.

Like he was much of last season, Mond was a key part of A&M’s run game. By halftime, Mond had recorded 32 yards on the ground on six carries, almost a third of the Aggies’ total first half rushing yardage. On A&M’s last drive of the first half, Mond got the Aggies into Arkansas territory with a 14-yard run, which he followed up with a 32-yard pass to sophomore tight end Jalen Wydermyer to give A&M a 28-14 lead. He finished the night with 32 rushing yards on six carries.

He also added 260 yards through the air, going 21-of-26 with three touchdowns and no interceptions. On a 15-yard touchdown pass to Wydermyer, Mond overtook former A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s career total yardage record.

A&M run game finding its legs

Though it struggled much of last season, A&M’s run game has been the source of much of its success in 2020. Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller led the Aggies on the ground against the Razorbacks with 82 on 21 carries. He added one score in A&M’s win. Sophomore running back Ainias Smith and Mond also combined for over 30 yards each, with Smith tallying 31 and Mond 32. Freshman running back Devon Achane also saw some playing time in the second half, recording 39 yards on four carries and recording the first touchdown of his career on a 30-yard run at the end of the third quarter.

By halftime, the Aggies had accumulated 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground against the Razorbacks, finishing the night with a total of 182 yards on the ground.

Hezekiah Jones returns

After missing A&M’s first four games of the season due to an injury sustained during fall camp, junior wide receiver Hezekiah Jones made his 2020 debut against Arkansas. Jones recorded 47 yards on five catches in the game.

Miscues

Penalties continued to hurt the Aggies, as they finished the night with nine for a total loss of 100 yards. Though they eventually scored, a pair of holding penalties on their first drive of the second quarter put the Aggies in a third-and-16 situation. The defense also had its share of penalties, as freshman safety Antonio Johnson was disqualified for targeting in the beginning of the third quarter. A pass interference call on senior cornerback Myles Jones in the third quarter brought Arkansas’ possession to the 14-yard line, though the Razorbacks had to settle for a field goal on the drive.

Source Article