LSU hopes to slow down Kellen Mond and No. 5 Texas A&M

LSU hopes to slow down Kellen Mond and No. 5 Texas A&M
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) (Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A year after steamrolling through all challengers and winning the national championship with a perfect 15-0 record, the LSU Tigers find themselves perhaps playing the role of spoiler in this strange and disjointed 2020 season.

LSU (3-3) will travel to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M (5-1) on Saturday, Nov. 28. The Aggies debuted at No. 5 Tuesday night in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the year.

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The Aggies have been out of action for a while. A 48-3 win at South Carolina on Nov. 7 was the last time they’ve played. So, like LSU this past weekend against Arkansas, Texas A&M will be playing its first game in roughly three weeks due to multiple COVID-19 issues.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher’s offense is still led by quarterback Kellen Mond. The senior has thrown for 1,468 yards and 16 touchdowns against just two interceptions this season. Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller is averaging more than 100 yards per game rushing (6.2 avg.). He has five touchdowns in 2020. Another running back, Ainias Smith, has been Texas A&M’s leading receiver. He has 26 catches for 312 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer has 28 receptions for 311 yards and four touchdowns.

TJ Finley of the LSU Tigers during the first half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo By: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics
TJ Finley of the LSU Tigers during the first half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo By: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics (Source: Chris Parent/Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)

“Kellen Mond is a good player; they got a strong offensive line,” said LSU head coach Ed Orgeron. “Last year, we put some pressure on them. And we’re going to have to, just like any game. But you know what, the good part about this team is that we can put pressure on a four-man rush. I feel comfortable rushing four and playing coverage. That’s your best defense. Now, if we have to blitz them, we have to put some pressure on them, Bo has a bunch of blitzes. But I think the first thing that we need to do is be able to rush with four.”

“Kellen Mond is playing better; they’re protecting him, only two sacks. Then, you gotta look at their defense. They got the number one defense in the SEC. That’s very impressive. They’re tough against the run. Their defensive coordinator could dial up blitzes. They could play a 4-3; they could play a 3-4. The defensive line is playing very well. I just think they’re playing overall good football and they’ve improved in almost every area since last year,” Orgeron added.

It will certainly be a big test for true freshman quarterback TJ Finley, who has certainly delivered more positive than negative during the first three starts of his LSU career. The 6-foot-6 Ponchatoula native targeted eight different receivers during the Tigers’ 27-24 triumph over Arkansas. The young man who caught the game-winning touchdown, Jaray Jenkins, hails from Jena, La. It’s a small town about 40 miles northeast of Alexandria, with just over 3,000 folks.

Jaray Jenkins of the LSU Tigers during the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo By: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics
Jaray Jenkins of the LSU Tigers during the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo By: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics (Source: Chris Parent/Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)

It could be a rainy, sloppy night for the Tigers and Aggies. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN.

Orgeron talks Finley, defense, injuries, and more
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