Texas A&M got off to a big start to the season Thursday night against Texas State.

The Aggies demolished the Bobcats 41-7 behind a surgical Kellen Mond. With Clemson looming next Saturday, it was important for the Aggies to get off to a strong start and gain some confidence. That certainly happened.

Here are the three biggest takeaways:

1. Kellen Mond at his best: Thursday night featured the best we’ve seen from Mond. He was surgical. He had great instincts. He ran when he needed to. He made just one bad throw for the interception. Mond finished an impressive 19-of-27 for 194 yards and three touchdowns. His best pass of the night won’t even show up in the boxscore other than an incompletion. Mond hit Quartney Davis on a beautiful 55-yard touchdown pass, but Davis couldn’t control it for the score. Jimbo Fisher was impressed with Mond’s deep-ball improvement this off-season, and Mond certainly showed that Thursday night. Should Mond keep up this type of play, he’ll be in contention to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

2. Secondary forcing turnovers: Texas A&M’s defense forced four Texas State interceptions. That’s more than half of all of last year (seven total). The Aggies were tied for 11th in the SEC ahead of just Arkansas and South Carolina. That was one area Jimbo Fisher knew his defense had to improve, and by nabbing four in the first game, that’s a great sign, especially ahead of facing Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence next week. Leon O’Neal Jr., Myles Jones (2) and Roney Elam recorded the interceptions.

3. Texas A&M’s defense played clean: If you watched any of the Florida-Miami Week 0 game, you know tackling was a major issue. Both the Gators and the Hurricanes struggled tackling. Texas A&M’s defense didn’t. I realize that Texas State’s players don’t compare talent-wise, but strong tackling on the perimeter will be paramount next week against Clemson.