Mond: Aggies’ upset win can help change culture

Mond: Aggies’ upset win can help change culture

Texas A&M scored its first win over a top-five team in the Jimbo Fisher era Saturday, and both players and coaches said they feel it could be the start of something bigger.

Following a 41-38 home victory over No. 4 Florida, Aggies senior quarterback Kellen Mond underscored the significance for the program.

“I feel like it can be a culture-changing win,” Mond said. “It can only give this team more confidence especially with a lot of the young guys that we have and the ability for us to build on this.”

Fisher, who is now 19-10 since taking over the Aggies in 2018, said he was pleased with how his team approached the game. No. 21 Texas A&M trailed by 11 points in the third quarter but was able to come from behind to win thanks in part to the play of Mond (338 passing yards, three touchdowns) and running back Isaiah Spiller (174 rushing yards, two touchdowns).

“They didn’t pay attention to the scoreboard,” Fisher said. “They played the next play and lined up and won their box. That’s how you change a program; that’s how you change a culture.”

Said Spiller: “This is a real big confidence booster. It’s just one game but I feel like we really gained our identity today.”

The win was Texas A&M’s first over a team ranked in the top five nationally since 2014, when it scored a 41-38 road victory over No. 3 Auburn. It came at a pivotal time for the Aggies (2-1, all in the SEC) who lost 52-24 last week to Alabama, raising questions as to whether the program was narrowing the gap with the SEC’s elite under Fisher.

The win also served as a milestone for Mond, who became Texas A&M’s leader in passing yards, passing Jerrod Johnson on the school’s all-time list. Mond, a four-year starter, has 8,224 career passing yards and also holds the school record for completions (680) and pass attempts (1,168). His performance on Saturday was widely viewed as the best in his A&M career.

With the Aggies not set to play another ranked team until facing Tennessee on the road Nov. 14, they are optimistic about the future.

“Every win is sweet but there’s no win like winning against a top-four team,” Texas A&M linebacker Buddy Johnson said. “It just shows that we can compete with anyone in the country.”

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