COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - A 28-26 loss isn't the end result Texas A&M wanted against Clemson. But what the Aggies showed Saturday night against the Tigers is something fans can get excited about.
"They played the next play. They didn't worry about the scoreboard, they didn't worry about the swing or momentum. They just played the next play," said head coach Jimbo Fisher.
At times, A&M looked like the better team - an impressive feat considering the Aggies entered the day as two touchdown underdogs. Quarterback Kellen Mond shredded one of college football's best defenses, throwing for 430 yards and three touchdowns. Its the most yards an Aggie QB has thrown against a top-5 team since a man named Johnny Manziel went for 464 against Alabama in 2013.
"I think Clemson, as a team and as a defense, is very talented," said Mond. "I think that our receivers made a lot of big plays and kind've showed what they can do on a big time stage."
But for as many positives, the Aggies also had their fare share of missed opportunities. Kicker Daniel LaCamera was wide right on a 28 yard field goal and saw a second kick get blocked. Quarterback Nick Starkel, who entered the game after Mond suffered a cramp, was intercepted.
Finally, Quartney Davis fumbled out of the back of the end zone for a touchback, although the Aggies would eventually find their way into paydirt.
"It hurts and there's no doubt because you see how close you were to playing against the number two team in the country," said Fisher. "We were right there playing with them. Eventually we'll learn to get over that hump and be that team and move on. I'm proud of them, but we've got some work to do."