Texas A&M football: Aggies looking more like a contender every week
There wasn’t much Texas A&M did wrong Saturday.
Following a big win against Florida, the Aggies took control of their game against Mississippi State early and never let go. They didn’t dazzle, but they didn’t look bad, either.
It ended with a 28-14 victory that was a bit more dominant than the score suggests.
Isaiah Spiller continued to impress on the ground. He entered the game as the SEC’s leading running back in yards after contact. He used his big frame to rush for another 114 yards and 2 touchdowns, marking his third 100-yard rushing game this season.
The defense forced turnovers. There was a blocked punt that set up a touchdown. The team is looking more complete with each passing week.
After a disappointing start to the season against Vanderbilt and a blowout to Alabama, it’s encouraging to see.
The Aggies have been hit hard by injuries and opt-outs this year, but they appear to be finally coming together after so much change. Spiller is emerging as another playmaker. The defense has shown improvement since the meltdown against Alabama. Texas A&M is in as good a position as anyone besides Alabama to make the College Football Playoff.
The schedule sets up incredibly well, too. Auburn and Tennessee are the only ranked schools the Aggies still have to play, and both lost Saturday.
The receiving corps might be the last thing the Aggies need to come together. They took a huge hit when Caleb Chapman suffered a season-ending injury against Florida. Kellen Mond wasn’t called upon to pass much this past week with A&M in front most of the game, finishing with just 139 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.
Mond has often taken the blame when the Aggies have failed as well as the glory when they succeed. It comes with being the starting quarterback. This year, though, he has gotten more help when it has been needed most. Whether it’s Spiller, the speedy Ainias Smith or a defensive stop, Mond hasn’t always been the one making the big plays.
Saturday was a prime example of that, and it showed why this team has potential to be the best of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure.
But let’s not forget that Mond can still be dangerous. He proved as much last week against Florida. The difference is that the Aggies have the talent to make it through the weeks when he isn’t as productive.
It’s still early in the season, and a lot can change in two weeks. We’ve already seen as much. The Aggies have a bye this week and should use that to work on issues that still linger before facing a pesky Arkansas team.
That said, there is a lot to like about this team. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain this level of play as the season goes on.
They aren’t at their peak yet, but we are watching A&M find their way there. Especially with how the path is laid out, it feels like the Aggies are in control of how their season plays out.
The potential is there. Is this the year?