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Texas A&M Football

SEC Round-Up: Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond climbing league totem pole

October 12, 2017

Some Southeastern Conference football teams should consider old 1950’s style abbreviations for positions. Perhaps some should identify their signal-caller simply by “B” … as in "back."

That’s because too many SEC passers ain’t worth a quarter.

OK, that’s probably too harsh. Ole Miss pays who-knows-what for a top lineman. Who knows what would be paid for a top-flight quarterback? But Ole Miss isn’t among those teams with quarterback issues. Shea Patterson is actually having a solid year even as everything around him is crumbling.

Look at it this way: Texas A&M lost starting quarterback Nick Starkel. That thrust true freshman Kellen Mond into the lineup. More than half the SEC teams would trade places with the Aggies.

That’s actually a testament as to how well Mond has played, especially in conference games against Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama. It’s also an indication of how mundane SEC quarterback play has been. Each week, several SEC quarterbacks continue to struggle. Yet, each week, Mond appears to improve.

In this case, appearances are not deceiving. Mond is averaging 218.7 yards of total offense to rank eighth in the SEC. However, that includes the opener against UCLA in which he was thrust into the lineup when Starkel was injured. Since then, he’s averaged 246 yards of total offense, which would rank third in the SEC.

Brian Okosun
Behind Mond, Texas A&M beat both Arkansas and South Carolina to open SEC play.

“In Kellen Mond, you have a player that continues to get better,” A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said this week. “Every snap is a learning experience for him.

“Florida (Saturday’s opponent) will throw different things at him. The Florida coaches understand defense. The South Carolina defense was well-coached. We had Alabama, and now he gets Florida. He's having a lot thrown at him right now. So are the other players on offense. One thing that makes Kellen the player that he is is his ability to ad-lib. He has to understand what's at stake.”

No doubt, there have been youthful mistakes, but opposing quarterbacks would surely envy his potential. Quite a few would envy his production.

Tennessee has apparently benched starter Quentin Dormady. Florida has benched starter Feleipe Franks and brought him back. Arkansas may be forced to start Austin Allen’s backup this week. Georgia has started backup Jake Fromm since week two. LSU wishes it had a backup to start.

Kentucky has gotten mediocre production from Stephen Johnson. It’s hard to judge Missouri’s Drew Lock and Vanderbilt’s Kyle Shurmur because their teams are so dreadful. Even Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald is struggling as a passer. In conference games, he’s thrown more interceptions (4) than touchdown passes (3).

Of course, nobody at Alabama is complaining about Jalen Hurts. Jarrett Stidham has given Auburn’s offense a significant boost. South Carolina’s Jake Bentley has had an impressive year thus far. Patterson leads the SEC and is fourth in the nation in passing.

Beyond them, Mond is arguably the next best quarterback in the SEC, and he may have a higher ceiling than any of them.

Around the SEC...

Who’s hot: Georgia’s running game has produced more than 200 rushing yards in each of the last four games and rolled up 423 in last week’s 45-14 win over Vanderbilt. Nick Chubb leads the SEC with 618 rushing yards. He rushed for 138 yards against the Commodores. Yet, Sony Michel lead the Bulldogs with 150 rushing yards. He’s 10th in the SEC with 406 rushing yards.

Everyone knows Ole Miss doesn’t emphasize running the football, but the Rebels' running totals are horrific even for them.

Who’s not: Everyone knows Ole Miss doesn’t emphasize running the football, but the Rebels' running totals are horrific even for them. Their greatest rushing output this season is 102 yards in the season-opening win over South Alabama. Ole Miss has managed just 380 total rushing yards through five games. Ten individuals in the SEC have rushed for more yards than Ole Miss has as a team. Maybe there is hope. The Rebels face Vanderbilt next. The Commodores have allowed more than 1,100 rushing yards in the last three games. If Ole Miss can’t run effectively against Vandy, it’s a lost cause.

Keep an eye on: As if there wasn’t enough controversy in Knoxville now, the Volunteers have a quarterback controversy. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is expected to get his first career start on Saturday against South Carolina. That news led to rumors that junior Quinten Dormady was leaving the program. Dormady was at practice on Tuesday, but his future may be uncertain. Dormady has started every game this season for the 3-2 Vols. He’s passed for 925 yards and six touchdowns with six interceptions. That’s not good. But will a change at quarterback alter the Vols’ fortunes? That remains to be seen.

The pressure is on: Calls for the firing of Arkansas coach Bret Bielema are louder than ever after a 48-22 loss at South Carolina, which dropped the Razorbacks to 2-3. To make matters worse, quarterback Austin Allen is questionable with an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder. The Hogs will likely be 2-5 heading into an Oct. 28 game against Ole Miss and will need to finish at least 4-1 just to make an obscure bowl game. Anything less may lead Arkansas to pay that huge payout Bielema would get.

Best matchup: For all the problems at LSU, the Tigers have actually looked solid in pass defense. Five of six opponents have managed 180 passing yards or less against LSU. The Tigers have allowed only four touchdown passes and have four interceptions. However, they really haven’t faced an imposing passer, either. That may change this week when they go against Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, who is quietly putting together a strong season. Stidham has thrown for more than 200 yards in four consecutive games and has thrown five touchdown passes in the last three. He’s also thrown just two interceptions. He’ll either continue his recent hot streak or LSU will prove its pass defense truly is formidable.

This week’s games: Texas A&M at Florida; Arkansas at Alabama; Auburn at LSU; Vanderbilt at Ole Miss; BYU at Mississippi State; Missouri at Georgia; South Carolina at Tennessee

Discussion from...

SEC Round-Up: Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond climbing league totem pole

DifferenceMaker Ag
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Pretty sure that A&M v Florida will be a MUCH better game than Auburn v LSU. Auburn is going to blow out LSU.
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Of course, nobody at Alabama is complaining about Jalen Hurts.
It's college football. Someone is always complaining.


Take off the crimson glasses...

Jalen was outplayed by a true freshman because Mond is a better QB. Look, Jalen likes to run at the first sign of a defender crossing the scrimmage line. He won almost all of his games last year with his legs. He is a runner, not a passer. Does he have potential? Absolutely, thats why we recruited him but he has a full year under his belt AS A STARTER and still gets happy feet with great inaccuracy. He can't hit wide open receivers, gets happy feet when there are receivers open, and doesn't show any remorse when he plays like ***** He is just a kid but at some point this coaching staff is going to have to get the message across by pulling his ass in the second or third quarter. We will not win the Iron Bowl or the SEC CC with this type of QB play. They will load the box and dare him to throw. Our defense will stay on the field and get worn out from the O's 3 and outs. Mark my words. Its coming. Arkansas is next and it would be a great game to get the point across. Now flame away you homers.
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Nice call
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