HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Texas A&M finished the 2018 season 9-4 (5-3 in the SEC) in the first season under head coach Jimbo Fisher.
The season for the Aggies ended on a high note after defeating N.C. State 52-13 in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl.
The biggest story from the 2018 season for Texas A&M had to be their 74-72 7 OT thriller against LSU that saw the Aggies win on a two-point conversion.
Texas A&M also almost upset eventual National Champion Clemson earlier in the year. Take that and their close loss at Auburn and their 9-4 record very well could have been 11-2 and possibly ended up in a News Year’s Six bowl game or even the College Football Playoff.
2018 only provided Fisher and the Aggies with more confidence to play, and beat, top-ranked opponents this season. But don’t call them spoilers.
“We expect to play with them and win them. We’re not trying to spoil anything,” Fisher said. “We’re looking to win something.”
Defensive lineman Justin Madubuike was named the Defensive Team MVP last season and will be looking for another big season. Despite his big time play as an Aggie, Madubuike says he still feels underrated.
“I always feel like I have a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “Ever since high school and recruiting I always felt like I had a chip. I just believe in hard work and words don’t mean anything, your actions do.”
Madubuike had 40 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2018.
Punter and kickoff specialist Braden Mann was invited by Jimbo Fisher to speak at SEC Media Days. Mann said his dream wasn’t to be a member of the special teams at first.
“My whole life, I thought I was going to play linebacker,” Mann said. “I realized I couldn’t do that, and my sophomore year, I started kicking and punting a lot. That’s when I started to take it a lot more serious.”
Mann finished first in the SEC in average punt distance with 51 yards per punt.
Quarterback Kellen Mond improved as the season wore on including his six-touchdown performance against LSU. One of the craziest games Mond says he’s been apart of.
“It was definitely a surreal moment,” Mond said. “It got to a point in about the third or fourth overtime when you didn’t even know what overtime you were in.”
Mond finished 2018 with more than 3,100 passing yards and 24 touchdowns through the air and another seven on the ground.
The Aggies will likely continue to pound the run game like in 2018 where they averaged 219 yards per game. This will take added pressure off Mond, according to Fisher.
The Aggies 2019 season starts against Texas State August 29.