COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Freshman quarterback Kellen Mond completed 21 of 34 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns and Texas A&M scored 31 unanswered points to rally from a halftime deficit to defeat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 45-21, before an announced crowd of 98,412 on Saturday at Kyle Field.
Mond threw first-half TD passes to Christian Kirk and Jhamon Ausbon while the Texas A&M defense held Louisiana (1-2) to 82 yards of total offense in the second half after the Ragin’ Cajuns took a 21-14 lead heading into the locker room.
Louisiana trailed 7-0 early in the second quarter when Tracy Walker intercepted a Mond pass and Trey Ragas capped a four-play, 12-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run. The Aggies quickly regained the lead as Mond found Ausbon for a 24-yard TD pass before Louisiana scored twice to quiet the Kyle Field crowd.
The Ragin’ Cajuns benefited from a muffed punt by Kirk and needed six plays to reach the end zone as Jordan Davis connected with Ryheem Malone on an 8-yard scoring pass. Louisiana took the lead with an impressive 13-play, 81-yard drive as Davis found Jordan Wright on a 1-yard scoring pass with seven seconds remaining in the first half.
A&M capitalized on an interception on Louisiana’s opening drive as they drove 81 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 21-21. Mond capped the drive with a 5-yard run off the left side before finding Camron Buckley for a go-ahead 12-yard scoring pass with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Tyrel Dodson returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Aggies before freshman Jacob Kibodi iced it with a 67-yard TD run with 6:41 remaining.
Davis was 27-for-43 for 197 yards with a pair of TDs for Louisiana with Keenan Barnes posting career-highs with 12 receptions for 118 yards. Ragas gained 93 yards on 14 carries for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Kevon Perry and Damar’ren Mitchell recording nine tackles each.
Louisiana will return to action next Saturday (Sept. 23) when it opens Sun Belt Conference action against ULM in a 4 p.m. contest at Cajun Field.