The Jimbo Fisher era of Aggie football began tonight.
On December 29th 2017 the Aggies limped in to the Belk Bowl at the tail end of another disappointing season. That night in Charlotte they were boat raced by a perennial ACC bottom feeder and made the Wake Forest Demon Deacons look like one of the top offenses in the country. It was deflating, it was ugly, and frankly it was par for the course.
Less than nine months later, the Fightin’ Texas Aggies welcomed the best that the ACC had to offer into Kyle Field, and they went toe-to-toe with the #2 team in the league. They looked calm, they looked self-assured, and against the expectation of every college football expert they looked like they belonged on that field.
Ignore anyone who uses the term moral victory or participation trophy. The fact of the matter is that Clemson beat the Aggies tonight and no one is talking about Clemson. They are talking about this Fightin’ Texas Aggie team that could not have looked more different on the field from last December if they had changed the uniform colors to fuchsia and powder blue.
Jimbo Fisher has arrived in College Station, and anyone who remained unconvinced about the hiring decision has no legs left to stand on. To understand the impact of Fisher on this squad in such a short time one only need look under center - under center - at Kellen Mond. Last year Mond was wide-eyed, skittish, and ready to leave the pocket at the drop of a blocking assignment. Tonight he stood tall in the pocket against one of the nation’s elite pass rushes and made big man plays. He found receivers who didn’t even know they were open, he used his legs to make space when he needed it, and he took a hit when he had to. Fisher is said to be a quarterback whisperer, and just the expression on Mond’s face confirms it.
A quick side note: this is clearly Kellen Mond’s team, and he has a wealth of talent to work with thanks to undeniably successful receiver recruiting during Sumlin’s tenure. That said, we need to give Kendrick Rogers Jr. a special shout out tonight. The last time an Aggie put forth such a consistently clutch performance, he ended up being the #1 WR for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
12th Man: you were on fucking fire tonight. This website called you out. Then we called you out again. We probably called you out a little too much admittedly. And you know what, if we were to open our mouths to talk about how loud Kyle Field used to be the sound of our voices would be drowned out like every pathetic audible attempt the Tigers made. The hate barn came to life tonight and like a microwave our cold, cynical hearts were warmed by the literal molecular vibrations you caused. Keep it up, this Aggie squad will need you and if you stick with them they’ll reward you with blindside whiplash hits (and probably get tossed for targeting).
The Aggies lost tonight, thanks in part to the dumbest rule in football. That’s not actually what matters, though. The Aggies lost, and every single team on their schedule sat up and took notice. This team will not be a pushover this season. More importantly, the future of Aggie football hasn’t felt this bright since Johnny Manziel scampered his way out of Tuscaloosa.
Sleep tight Ags, your team is in good hands.