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Aggie Football Tops South Carolina for Third Straight Win

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kellen Mond threw for 353 yards and freshman Seth Small had four field goals, including the go-ahead kick in the fourth quarter, to lift No. 22 Texas A&M to a 26-23 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) won their third straight this season and moved to 5-0 against the Gamecocks (3-3, 2-3) since joining the league in 2012.

Mond also had a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jace Sternberger in the second quarter and, when Small hit a 32-yard field goal on the Aggies’ first drive of the second half to go up 16-0, it looked like more than enough to put away the Gamecocks, who managed just 102 yards of offense the first 30 minutes.

That’s when Jake Bentley, returning after missing last week’s win over Missouri with a knee injury, led a pair of third-quarter TD drives — and the two-point conversions both times.

Bentley had a 22-yard scoring pass to Shi Smith to start the comeback, then hit Chavis Dawkins for a 33-yard touchdown throw off a flea flicker.

Bryan Edwards caught both two-point tries, stretching second across the line before falling out of bounds to tie the game.

Texas A&M responded with the winning drive next time out, moving 45 yards to set Small up for a 39-yard field goal with 9:16 left.

The Aggies sealed things with Trayveon William’s 3-yard scoring run with 1:36 left.

South Carolina got a final TD pass from Bentley to Samuel with 48 seconds to go, but could not execute an onside kick attempt. Texas A&M ran out the clock.

Mond got the Aggies going when he found his big tight end Sternberger. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior had a 53-yard reception where he dragged safety Steven Montac (some 65 pounds lighter) about 25 yards inside the South Carolina 10.

Small opened Texas A&M’s scoring with a 52-yard field goal, the freshman tying his career long kick.

South Carolina struggled with Bentley back behind center in the opening half. The junior, talked about at times this season as an NFL prospect, was 6 of 17 passing the first 30 minutes for 46 yards. He had an awful interception in the end zone to kill off the Gamecocks best scoring chance of the half.

Mond was 25 of 37 passing. His 353 yards was the second most of his career after throwing for 430 yards in a 28-26 loss to No. 4 Clemson last month.


ABOUT THE WIN

  • With the 26-23 win at South Carolina, Texas A&M improved to 5-2 overall this season and 3-1 in SEC play.
  • The Maroon & White maintained possession of the Bonham Trophy, awarded to the winner of the cross-divisional matchup between the Aggies and Gamecocks each season. The Aggies have possessed the trophy since its inception in 2014.
  • The win in Columbia marked the first true road SEC win for Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher
  • Additionally, the victory was the first for Texas A&M as a member of the AP Top 25 since beating UTSA on Nov. 19, 2016.


NOTABLES

  • Sophomore QB Kellen Mond became the 17th Texas A&M passer to surpass the 3,000-yard mark in career passing yards. He completed 25-of-37 attempts for 353 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. It was Mond’s second 300-yard passing game and fifth 200-yard game of the season.
  • Texas A&M had two receivers with 100-plus receiving yards for the first time in 2018. Both sophomore Quartney Davis(9 for 127) and junior Jace Sternberger (7 for 145) achieved career highs in catches and receiving yards against the Gamecocks. The last time the Aggies have two receivers with 100+ yards in a game was the 2017 Belk Bowl vs. Wake Forest when Christian Kirk had 13 for 189 and Jhamon Ausbon had 12 for 112.
  • Texas A&M dominated time of possession on the day, possessing the ball for 41:29 of the possible 60 minutes against the Gamecocks. The Aggies ran 77 total plays on the day while South Carolina ran 53 plays from scrimmage. Today’s 41:29 time of possession was the highest of the season for the Aggies, besting the 41:09 possession in the season opener against Northwestern State.
  • Freshman PK Seth Small booted four field goals (on five tries), including a 52-yarder that matched his career long. Small also had a 52-yard vs. Alabama. Also this season, senior Daniel LaCamera, who has missed the last five games with an injury, boomed a 52-yarder vs. Northwestern State.
  • The A&M defense held South Carolina wot 2-for-9 on third downs, entering the game the Aggies were No. 1 in the SEC and No. 2 in FBS at 22.9% success rate in third down situations. The Aggies did not allow a third down conversion through the air against the Gamecocks (2-for-6).
  • The four FGs by the Aggies set a season high for field goals in a game, the previous high was three vs. Alabama.
  • The interception by junior CB Charles Oliver in the first quarter was the first of his career. The Aggies forced two turnovers on the day, while not giving the ball away for the second time this season (ULM).
  • Junior P Braden Mann boomed the 12th punt of 60 or more yards with a 67-yarder in the first quarter. He is one 60-yard-plus punt off the NCAA record of 13 by Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier in 2005. For the game, Mann averaged 52.2 yards on four punts and forced a fumble.
  • Junior RB Trayveon Williams put the game away with a three-yard scoring run with 1:36 to play in the fourth quarter. Williams has recorded a rushing touchdown in all three games he has played against South Carolina

GAME CAPTAINS, 12thMAN

 

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

JFisher_1013.mp3

 

Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond

KMond_1013.mp3

 

Aggie tight end Jace Sternberger

JSternberger_1013.mp3

 

Aggie defensive end Landis Durham

LDurham_1013.mp3

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

 

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=127728

Posted by on Oct 13 2018. Filed under Featured Stories, Sports.
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