Mond ac­counts for 4 TDs as A&M beats Ole Miss

The Sun Herald (Sunday) - - Sports - BY KRISTIE RIEKEN

COL­LEGE STA­TION, TEXAS

After Kellen Mond turned the ball over on Texas A&M’s first two drives of the sec­ond half on Satur­day against Mis­sis­sippi, coach Jimbo Fisher thought about mak­ing a quar­ter­back change.

But after look­ing into Mond’s eyes, some­thing told him that he would bounce back. So, he stuck with him and the sopho­more re­bounded to lead the Ag­gies to four scor­ing drives after his er­rors to give Texas A&M a 38-24 win.

“When you’re the quar­ter­back you’re go­ing to have those mo­ments of should I take him out? Should I not take him out? (But I) have faith in him,” Fisher said. “He de­served the chance to go back in be­cause I knew the look in his eye and the com­peti­tor he was.”

“That’s what great play­ers do … they’re able to re­spond to that ad­ver­sity,” Fisher con­tin­ued.

Mond threw TDs of 21, 10 and 5 yards, and his touch­down run was a 1-yard scam­per in the first quar­ter.

After be­ing outscored 28-0 in the fourth quar­ter of con­sec­u­tive losses to Auburn and Mis­sis­sippi State, Texas A&M (6-4, 4-3 SEC) scored its first fourthquar­ter points since Oct. 13 when Seth Smalls made it 24-21 with a 46-yard field goal early in the pe­riod.

“We’ve had some tough times for two weeks in a row so we had to get that done,” Fisher said.

Mis­sis­sippi’s Luke Lo­gan missed a 22-yard field goal with

just more than seven min­utes left. Fisher called a time­out just be­fore the kick, which sailed wide right.

The Ag­gies pushed the lead to 10 points when Mond found Quar­t­ney Davis on a 5-yard touch­down pass with about five min­utes left.

Ole Miss (5-5, 1-5) got within a touch­down when Lo­gan made a 24-yard field goal with about two min­utes re­main­ing.

An on­side kick was called by Ole Miss after that, but A&M re­cov­ered it and Williams ran 46 yards for a touch­down on the next play to put the game out of reach.

“They kept their poise and ex­e­cuted,” Fisher said.

After their re­cent strug­gles in the fourth quar­ter, the Ag­gies knew they couldn’t let up after they got the lead late on Satur­day.

“That was re­ally our main fo­cus … in­stead of just fo­cus­ing on win­ning we wanted to dom­i­nate,” Mond said.

Jor­dan Ta’amu threw for 373 yards and a touch­down for the Rebels, who lost their third straight game and have won just one con­fer­ence game. A.J. Brown had 127 yards re­ceiv­ing and DaMarkus Lodge added 122 yards re­ceiv­ing with a touch­down.

“We couldn’t get to a rhythm of­fen­sively; give those guys credit, they made the plays that we didn’t,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said.

Williams had 31 car­ries for 228 yards in his sec­ond 200-yard game this sea­son to give him 1,159 this sea­son.

Wil­lie Hib­bler knocked the ball out of Mond’s hands on the first se­ries of the sec­ond half and Zedrick Woods scooped it up and rumbled 96 yards for a touch­down to make it 21-14.

Mond was in­ter­cepted by Ken Web­ster on Texas A&M’s next drive, but the Rebels couldn’t move the ball and punted it back.

The Ag­gies fi­nally put to­gether a clean drive after that, driv­ing 72 yards in nine plays capped by a 10-yard touch­down re­cep­tion by Davis to tie it at 21-21.

Texas A&M led 7-0 when Ole Miss tied it on the first play of the sec­ond quar­ter when Ta’amu con­nected with Lodge on a 44-yard TD pass.

The Rebels took a 14-7 lead when Ta’amu scored on a 1-yard run later in the sec­ond

Lodge made a 51-yard re­cep­tion with less than five min­utes left in the sec­ond quar­ter. But Ta’amu fum­bled two plays later and the Ag­gies re­cov­ered to get one more pos­ses­sion be­fore half­time.

“We had a big turnover in the red zone and had a chance to put us up 10 right there; that was big in the first half,” Luke said.

Texas A&M took ad­van­tage of the mis­cue when Cam­ron Buck­ley scored on a 21-yard re­cep­tion that left it tied at 14-all at half­time.

THE TAKE­AWAY

Mis­sis­sippi: With just two games left, the Rebels will have to fig­ure out a way to win a con­fer­ence game if they hope to be­come bowl-el­i­gi­ble.

Texas A&M: The Ag­gies moved the ball well at times, but Mond will need to take bet­ter care of the ball after com­mit­ting four turnovers in the last two weeks for Texas A&M to fin­ish the sea­son strong.

MILLER RE­TURNS

For­mer Texas A&M star and cur­rent Den­ver Bronco Von Miller was hon­ored dur­ing a break in the sec­ond quar­ter. High­lights of the out­side line­backer’s ca­reer with the Ag­gies were played on the Jum­botron be­fore he was in­tro­duced and re­ceived a loud ova­tion from the crowd.

Miller, whose Bron­cos have a bye on Sun­day, played at Texas A&M from 2007-10 and was named MVP of the Su­per Bowl in the 2015 when he helped the Bron­cos beat the Pan­thers 24-10.

RECORD-SET­TER

Brown be­came the school’s all-time lead­ing re­ceiver with his per­for­mance on Satur­day. The ju­nior has 1,047 to give him 2,711 in his ca­reer to pass Shay Hodge, who had 2,646 yards re­ceiv­ing from 2006-09.

EAST LANS­ING, MICH.

Drue Chris­man kept Michi­gan State pinned back with a sen­sa­tional sec­ond half of punt­ing, and eighth-ranked Ohio State even­tu­ally pulled away for a 26-6 vic­tory over the 24th-ranked Spar­tans on Satur­day.

In a tight de­fen­sive strug­gle, the Buck­eyes (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) en­joyed a huge ad­van­tage in field po­si­tion dur­ing the sec­ond half. Chris­man’s punts forced Michi­gan State (6-4, 4-3, No. 18) to start its first five drives after half­time from its own 5, 6, 3, 1 and 2yard line.

On the fourth of those pos­ses­sions, the Spar­tans had to punt from their own end zone. They took a safety that ap­peared in­ten­tional, giv­ing Ohio State a 9-6 lead, but that did lit­tle to help flip the field po­si­tion. The en­su­ing free kick went out of bounds, giv­ing the Buck­eyes the ball at the 50, and then Chris­man pinned Michi­gan State back again.

NO­TABLE

No. 4 Michi­gan 42, Rut­gers 7: Shea Pat­ter­son threw for 260 yards and three touch­downs, Karan Hig­don ran for a pair of 1-yard scores and No. 4 Michi­gan kept its na­tional cham­pi­onship hopes in­tact with a road win over Rut­gers.

No. 7 West Vir­ginia 47, TCU 10: Will Grier threw three touch­down passes and West Vir­ginia rolled to a home vic­tory over TCU. West Vir­ginia (8-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 9 CFP) had no trou­ble against the in­jury-rid­dled Horned Frogs (4-6, 2-5) as it pur­sues a pos­si­ble berth in the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game with two reg­u­lar-sea­son games left.

No. 10 Wash­ing­ton State 31, Colorado 7: Gard­ner Min­shew II over­came a

DAVID J. PHILLIP AP

Mis­sis­sippi wide re­ceiver DaMarkus Lodge breaks away from Texas A&M de­fen­sive back Charles Oliver to score a touch­down dur­ing the first half Satur­day. Lodge fin­ished with 122 re­ceiv­ing yards.

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