Texas A&M wraps up tough month against Arkansas

The Aggies dropped a pair games in September to two of the top three teams in the country


The month of September has not been kind to Texas A&M in terms of wins and losses, but when it comes to lessons learned, it’s been invaluable. 

The Aggies dropped two games this month to of the top two teams in the nation, losing a close game to No. 3 Clemson at home and falling on the road against No. 1 Alabama last weekend. 

They wrap up the month Saturday at 11 a.m. against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. 

“It was a great opportunity for our team to compete in a good environment,” Fisher said. “We learned some things about ourselves good and bad. Now what we have to do is play intelligent and understand momentum swings in the game.”

Fisher said the game against the Crimson Tide swung late in the first half when the Aggies gave up a big play on 3rd down and Alabama closed the half with 10 points to take a 31-13 lead at the break. 

"I'm not happy, I'm not discouraged," he said. "I am encouraged by the way we played and that we learn from this situation. Going on the road, we have to learn from this."

Kellen Mond threw for 196 yards and a touchdown with a pair of interceptions and led the team in rushing for 98 yards and a score. But the offensive line gave up seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss. 

The Aggies have allowed 14 sacks this season, but they’ve also played the top two defenses against the pass this month. 

Defensively, in the first four games of the season, Texas A&M has just one turnover, an interception late against Louisiana-Monroe and the defensive line has just five sacks and still includes last year’s SEC sack leader Landis Durham. 

“You have to be in place to make turnovers,” Fisher said.”We just stare in the backfield sometimes and our eyes aren’t in front and you can’t make a play on the ball. Just playing a little tighter coverages and being there a little quicker can help us do that.”

One other highlight for the Aggies has been punter Braden Mann, who set a single-game NCAA record with a 60.8-yard average Saturday against Alabama. He leads the SEC with a 54.9-yard average this year. 

Looking ahead, Fisher said he’d like to play all his home games at Kyle Field. But going north to play at AT&T Stadium or even neutral venues across the country is a benefit not only to recruiting, but getting the players out of their comfort zones.  

Falling Saturday’s clash with the Razorbacks, the Aggies host No. 17 Kentucky on Oct. 6 before road games against South Carolina and No. 23 Mississippi State. 

“From a psychological standpoint, (playing tough teams early) helps because those are two of the best teams in college football,” Fisher said. “Physically, we didn’t dominate the lines of scrimmage, but you know you can compete against guys like that. Now, you have to translate that into understanding how to win.” 

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