There was a lot of talk about Kellen Mond and the Texas A&M offense and how they put up a lot of yards on Clemson in last year’s game.
That wasn’t an issue in the first half on Saturday. Clemson held the Aggies to 92 total yards, while Mond completed just 5 of 14 passes for 51 yards. He rushed for just 11 yards, was sacked once and lost a fumble.
While Mond struggled Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence shined. The sophomore completed 16 of 20 passes for 188 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross, while running for another as Clemson took a 17-3 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers finished the first half with 234 yards.
Texas A&M struck first when Mond led the Aggies on a 16-play, 48-yard drive that took 7:33 off the clock. The Aggies converted on fourth-and-one and third-and-one to keep the drive going. They also converted a third-and-11 play that moved the ball to the Clemson 15.
But the drive stalled there, and Seth Small’s made a 32-yard field goal with 14:18 to play in the half for a 3-0 lead for A&M.
Clemson answered Small’s field goal with an 82-yard drive, which Lawrence capped with a touchdown pass to Ross.
The Tigers were faced with a third-and-11 play from the A&M 30 when Lawrence avoided pressure and rolled to his right,and on the run lofted a perfect pass to Ross who was open behind the Aggies’ secondary for a 30-yard touchdown.
The Ross touchdown gave Clemson a 7-3 lead with 10:52 to play in the second quarter.
The Tigers took a 10-3 lead with 4:57 to play in the half when Nolan Turner forced a Mond fumble and Jamie Skalski recovered at the A&M 38. Clemson moved the ball to the Aggies’ 12 where the drive bogged down and B.T. Potter came on and made a 29-yard field goal.
Lawrence capped an 89-yard drive at the end of the half when he scored from a yard out on a keeper with 33 seconds to play. The drive was aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on A&M and then Lawrence hit Tee Higgins with a 28-yard pass on the next play as the wide receiver made an acrobatic catch while being sandwiched by two Aggie defenders.
The Lawrence touchdown gave the Tigers a 17-3 lead.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.