Texas A&M needed a spark with the Texas Bowl tied 14-14 early in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State.
“I don’t think anyone was panicking,” quarterback Kellen Mond said. “We had been down before against top teams, not necessarily that we had come back, but we showed the urge to fight.”
Mond had completed 12-of-18 passes at this point, but the Cowboys kept eight defenders in coverage and were still handling running back Isaiah Spiller. However, Jimbo Fisher pulled a crafty call out of his bag of tricks. Mond ran QB option with Spiller going left, then cut back right through the wide open line and raced through the secondary down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.
Fisher typically prefers pocket passing quarterbacks to fit within his complex pro-style system. But when he unlocked that part of Mond’s game, it took the offense to a different level.
“You don’t have to be a great runner to be a great quarterback, but it’s just a dimension that he has that we want to use,” Fisher said. “In that game, it was a great dynamic. Those big plays really changed the game.”
Mond wasn’t recruited to Texas A&M to be a pocket passer. But every week of the Fisher era, Mond has improved and stayed on the field. As a rare four-year starter, he’s continually worked on his accuracy and his knowledge of the offense, with results to prove it. He’s become a mainstay at Kyle Field.
“I remember back in the day when I used to think some guys had been in college football for so long,” Mond said. “Now I’m that type of person. I’m still in college, but it’s been a crazy ride. I’ve loved every single moment of it.”
And quietly, Mond has creeped up the list of the greatest quarterbacks in Texas A&M history. Only Jerrod Johnson and Johnny Manziel have thrown for more yards and scored more touchdowns than the rising senior from San Antonio. He will likely top the list by the end of 2020. But far more importantly, Mond hopes to lead Texas A&M to its first SEC championship game.
“He’s accomplished a lot of things,” Fisher said. “He hasn’t accomplished everything he wants to accomplish, but he has played well in some great games. You got a guy back there with experience, that gives you a lot of stability and a lot of confidence from the players around him.”
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