Can Mond keep rolling?

Mark Passwaters, Publisher
Aggie Yell

AggieYell.com begins its look at Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0 SEC)'s matchup with South Carolina (3-1, 1-1 SEC) with a breakdown of the Aggie offense against the Gamecocks defense.

A&M likely starters

QB: Kellen Mond (Fr.; 6'2", 210; 50-99, 649 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT; 35 carries for 157 yards and 1 TD)

RB: Trayveon Williams (Soph.; 5'9", 200; 50 carries, 328 yards, 4 TD)

WR: Jhamon Ausbon (Fr.; 15 catches for 156 yards and 1 TD)

Slot: Christian Kirk (Soph.; 5'11", 200; 19 catches, 251 yards, 4 TD)

WR: Damion Ratley (Sr.; 6'3", 190; 5 catches, 156 yards)

TE: Tanner Schorp (RS-Sr.; 6'3", 245; 3 catches for 13 yards)

LT: Koda Martin (RS-Jr.; 6'6", 310)

LG: Ryan McCollum (RS-Fr.; 6'5", 295)

C: Erik McCoy (RS-Soph.; 6'4", 315)

RG: Connor Lanfear (Jr.; 6'6", 320)

RT: Keaton Sutherland (Jr.; 6'5", 310)

A&M offense by the numbers

Scoring offense: 40.8 PPG (21st nationally, 2nd SEC)

Rushing: 260.3 YPG (15th nationally, 3rd SEC)

Passing: 201 YPG (88th nationally, 7th SEC)

Total: 461.3 YPG (40th nationally, 3rd SEC)

1st downs: 97 (23rd nationally, 2nd SEC)

3rd down conversions: 44.1% (37th nationally, 5th SEC)

4th down conversions: 60% (42nd nationally, 3rd SEC)

Red zone offense: 85.7% (58th nationally, 5th SEC)

Sacks allowed: 12 (109th nationally, 11th SEC)

Turnover +/-: +8 (11 takeaways, 3 giveaways; 3rd nationally, 1st SEC)

South Carolina likely starters

DE: Dante Sawyer (Sr.; 6'3", 275; 16 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)

DT: Taylor Stallworth (Sr.; 6'2", 305; 17 tackles, 2 TFL)

DT: Ulric Jones (Sr.; 6'5", 312; 6 tackles, 1 pass broken up)

DE: D.J. Wonnum (Soph.; 6'4", 251; 21 tackles, 5.5. TFL, 2 sacks)

SAM: Antoine Wilder (Soph.; 5'10", 190)

MIKE: T.J. Brunson (Soph.; 6'1", 230; 42 tackles, 2.5 TFL)

WILL: Skai Moore (Sr.; 6'2", 218; 34 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT)

CB: JaMarcus King (Sr.; 6'2", 186; 16 tackles, 3 passes broken up, 1 INT)

S: D.J. Smith (Sr.; 5'11", 198; 20 tackles, 3 passes broken up)

S: Chris Lammons (Sr.; 5'10", 190; 26 tackles, 1 TFL)

CB: Rashad Fenton (Jr.; 5'10", 184; 12 tackles, 2 passes broken up)

Nickel: Jamyest Williams (Fr.; 5'9", 175; 16 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)

South Carolina by the numbers

Scoring defense: 20 PPG (39th nationally, 8th SEC)

Rushing defense: 132.8 YPG (55th nationally, 8th SEC)

Pass defense: 277.5 YPG (110th nationally, 13th SEC)

Total defense: 410.3 YPG (89th nationally, 12th SEC)

3rd down conversions defense: 46% (109th nationally, 13th SEC)

4th down conversions defense: 50% (57th nationally, 7th SEC)

Red zone defense: 70.6% (24th nationally, 4th SEC)

First downs allowed: 87 (103rd nationally, 13th SEC)

Tackles for loss: 18 (24th nationally, 6th SEC)

Sacks: 9 (74th nationally, 8th SEC)

Turnover +/-: +3 (8 takeaways, 5 giveaways; 32nd nationally, 4th SEC)

What the Aggies want to do

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When you've got one of the nation's top rushing offenses and a young quarterback, it's obvious: you want to establish the running game and throw off of that. Carolina has been average against the run so far but abysmal against the pass, which could work to A&M's advantage. As Mond continues to feel comfortable, the Aggies are opening up the playbook more -- we saw more of the run/pass option last week than we had so far this year. The Aggies like balance, but pounding away with the running game remains job one. If A&M can run well, then USC is in trouble.

What South Carolina wants to do

If A&M wants to run the ball, then South Carolina knows it too and wants to slow it down. They've got a huge interior linemen and a force at end in D.J. Wonnum, but they'll probably play 7 or 8 players in the box as Arkansas did until Mond forced them to back off. Will Muschamp is going to play aggressively, as he always does, so the Aggies have to be ready for Gamecocks to try to overload sides of the line of scrimmage and try to get into the backfield after Mond or the box. If Carolina gets A&M behind the chains and forced Mond to throw -- in spite of that lousy ranking -- that's what they'll want to see.

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