COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M is aiming for its 27th consecutive victory at home over a non-conference opponent Saturday when UL-Lafayette comes to Kyle Field.
Here are three keys for the Aggies against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
1. Find a way to get true freshman Kellen Mond comfortable
Last week, coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff seemed to put the reins on true freshman QB Kellen Mond in his first career start; Mond was asked to stay in the pocket and throw the football instead of using his legs, like he did against UCLA. This week, it appears Mond will be “the” guy because senior Jake Hubenak reportedly is injured. Mond needs to show an ability to take the top off the defense in the passing game with a matchup against Arkansas looming. If not, the Aggies could face eight men in the box throughout when they square off with the Hogs.
2. Find another weapon on the outside besides Christian Kirk
Along with Mond establishing himself in the passing game, the Aggies need another weapon to emerge at receiver. For the first two games, it seems as if opposing defenses only were worried about Kirk. True freshman Jhamon Ausbon has shown flashes in A&M’s first two games but has had a few drops, including a sure-fire touchdown in the final minute of last week’s game with Nicholls. Whether it’s Ausbon, senior Damion Ratley or someone at tight end, the Aggies need another reliable weapon in the passing game.
3. Find a way to stop the big play defensively
A key for the Aggies coming into the season was to be better stopping the run. With sophomore Tyrel Dodson at middle linebacker and a solid rotation at defensive tackle, it appears A&M may be on the way to getting that fixed; the Aggies have allowed fewer than 75 yards rushing in back-to-back games for the first time since early in the 2011 season. But big plays have plagued John Chavis’ bunch; cfbstats.com shows that A&M has allowed 13 plays of at least 20 yards and five of at least 30. UL-Lafayette brings an explosive offense to Kyle Field on Saturday, including a mobile quarterback in Jordan Davis. ULL has had seven plays of at least 30 yards in the first two games, New nickel back Priest Willis will be in the spotlight he likely will be matched up on one of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ better receivers, Ryheem Malone, in the slot.
(You can follow Dalton Hughes on Twitter @_DaltonHughes)
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