COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Kellen Mond threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in just more than three quarters, and Texas A&M had four interceptions as the 12th-ranked Aggies routed Texas State 41-7 on Thursday night.
Mond, who threw for 194 yards, had touchdown passes of 21 and 3 yards and ran for another score in the first two quarters as Texas A&M raced to a 28-0 halftime lead.
Quartney Davis had 85 yards receiving and a touchdown and Jhamon Ausbon added a touchdown catch. First-year starter Jashaun Corbin had 103 yards rushing with a touchdown reception and a TD run.
Myles Jones had two of Texas A&M’s four interceptions, and the Aggies had three sacks and nine tackles for losses.
Tyler Vitt threw two interceptions in the first half before first-year coach Jake Spavital, a former Texas A&M assistant, benched him for Gresch Jensen. But he didn’t fare much better, throwing two interceptions, including one on his second pass. Vitt was 9 of 15 for 51 yards and Jensen had 160 yards passing and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
The Bobcats couldn’t get anything going on the ground and were outgained 246 yards to 8.
The Aggies took a 7-0 lead when Mond connected with Quartney Davis on a 21-yard touchdown pass with about eight minutes left in the first quarter.
Leon O’Neal Jr. grabbed the ball just before it would have hit the ground for an interception on Texas State’s next drive.
A 1-yard touchdown by Corbin pushed the lead to 14-0. That score was set up by a 40-yard reception by Ausbon three plays earlier.
Mond showed off his scrambling skills in the second quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run where he stiff-armed a defender.
Jones hopped in front of a receiver on Texas State’s next drive to give the Aggies another interception with about five minutes left in the second quarter. Mond’s TD throw to Corbin came after that to make it 28-0.
Spavital pulled Vitt for Jenson on Texas State’s next drive, and he was quickly intercepted. Roney Elam jumped high in the air and snagged it with one hand before securing it with the other to give A&M the ball back.
Mond’s only big mistake came when he was intercepted by Bryan London II in the third quarter. But it didn’t matter much as Jones grabbed his second interception on the next play.
Freshman Isaiah Spiller had an 85-yard run late in the third quarter. The Aggies pushed the lead to 38-0 when Mond threw a 1-yard pass to Ausbon early in the fourth, and the QB headed to the bench soon after that.
The Aggies looked sharp on both offense and defense against a lesser opponent, but will need to step up their play next week if they hope to topple No. 1 Clemson.
The Aggies should retain their spot in the poll before their first big test next week against the defending national champions.
Texas State: Hosts Wyoming on Sept. 7
Texas A&M: Visits top-ranked Clemson on Sept. 7.