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MANN WITH A PLAN
Cassie Stricker — THE BATTALION
Junior Braden Mann has broken multiple punting records this year, including single game punting average and is on pace to break more as the Aggies start the second half of their season.
Aggies find unassuming star in junior Braden Mann, one of the best punters in the NCAA By Abigail Ochoa @AbigailOchoa88 Humble and talented — two words closely associated with Texas A&M’s junior punter Braden Mann. With a standout year that has included record-breaking performances and two consecutive SEC special teams player of
the week mentions, Mann has become a staple figure for the team, and people are taking notice. In his three years at A&M, Mann has been the chief kickoff specialist, but he’s taken up a new responsibility this season, serving as both a punter and kickoff specialist. He said the success he’s had as an Aggie is something he’s worked toward since high school. “I was just trying to be better than I was before,” Mann said. “Every day I’d go out and film myself in high school and just try to be better than I was the day before that. I don’t know if I ever really stopped to think about wanting to be better than
anyone else — just better than myself.” Mann began his freshman year at A&M averaging 63.9 yards from 76 kickoff attempts and 47 yards in his only two punts that season. While his sophomore year didn’t quite reach these numbers, Mann still averaged 62.4 yards on 73 kickoff attempts and collected 4,553 yards with 33 touchbacks, all from kickoffs. In his six games this season, Mann has already improved his average to 64.7, making him seventh in the country in terms of MANN ON PG. 2
Director of orchestras Travis Almony conducts the Texas A&M Orchestra while they perform in Rudder Theatre.
Cassie Stricker — THE BATTALION
Sophomore wide receiver Kendrick Rogers celebrates after A&M scored the game tying touchdown against Kentucky on Oct. 7 in Kyle Field.
Next stop: South Carolina Texas A&M kicks off road game series with matchup against the Gamecocks By Grant Spika @GrantSpika One of the toughest stretches of the season begins this weekend for No. 22 Texas A&M. After two straight SEC wins over Arkansas and Kentucky, the Aggies will go on the road for three straight SEC games with an open week on Oct. 20. The first of the three comes this weekend as A&M travels to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Since the two schools were made permanent cross-division rivals in the SEC, the Aggies have won all four matchups, and they’ll look to make it five this weekend. In the first four games of the season, sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond and the A&M offense outshined the defense, averaging 545.5 yards a game. But in the last two games, the A&M defense ran the show, securing two of
A&M’s victories. Then No. 13 Kentucky was averaging 407.2 yards per game on offense before running into the A&M defense, which allowed the Wildcats 178 yards overall and only 66 yards in the last three quarters. “As a defense, we tackled very well in space,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We were great against the run, we covered well, we pressured the quarterback, and they did a good job in overtime. We did well on third down getting them off the field. They didn’t cross the 50 the whole game.” Defensive coordinator Mike Elko has the A&M defense all the way up to No. 23 in the country in total defense, despite a lack of depth at linebacker and relatively weak secondary play. South Carolina was ranked 24th in the country in week two before losing in a blowout to No. 2 Georgia. Since the loss to Georgia, the Gamecocks have defeated Vanderbilt on the road, lost to Kentucky on the road and earned PREVIEW ON PG. 2
Captivating an audience A&M orchestras prepare for their first performance of school year By Salvador Garcia @SalGarJr From Baroque to Bernstein, Texas A&M’s string orchestras will open up their fall concert series with diverse music anyone can enjoy. The Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra will play their first concert of the semester in Rudder Theatre on Oct. 14. The orchestras will perform Baroque and early Romantic era music, as well as 20th-century music by Spanish and American composers, including a selection from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” The Chamber Orchestra will follow with Irish and English folk inspired music, ending the concert with Antonín Dvorák’s “Serenade for Strings.” Director of orchestras Travis Almany said the music is chosen to provide student musicians with a challenge that is manageable in a short time frame, while giving the public something attractive to listen to. “The first thing I always look at is it has to be good music,” Almany said. “I don’t want to waste the students’ time with something that’s just trash.”
The orchestras are made of about 110 students that are divided between the two, Almany said. “It’s very representative of the overall demographics of the university,” Almany said. “If you boil the 65,000-person university down to 110 people, it would probably look very similar to our orchestras.” Almany said the orchestras at A&M are different than other universities in that his students are not music majors. “[The students] are just here because they want to play,” Almany said. “Whereas a school of music might throw some ‘avant-garde’ stuff because it’s good for the students to know it. … Here the focus is to get all these [students] a time that they can just come relax and enjoy making music.” Mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Timothy Kroeger said he has found the time to play viola in the orchestra every semester since 2011, when he started his bachelor’s degree. Kroeger said he is looking forward to playing Dvorák’s “Serenade for Strings.” “The serenade is great,” Kroeger said. “I really like non-German European music. I like the more obscure European music. … I love Dvorák, who is Czech. I think the Eastern European flare is interesting.” Applied mathematics and computer MUSIC ON PG. 4
Senior Boot Bag
The Battalion | 10.12.18
Megan Rodriguez, Editor in Chief
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Jesse Everett— THE BATTALION
Sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond has thrown for over 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
MANN CONTINUED kickoffs. Adding more punts to his resumé, Mann has completed 298 yards for five punts this season. He is averaging 59.6 yards per punt and could break the current 47.5yard record set by former A&M punter Drew Kaser in 2015. Mann most recently produced the third longest punt in Division I football and in the university’s history with his 82-yarder in last week’s matchup against Kentucky. “I looked back, and I was standing on my own [3-yard line],” Mann said. “I was like ‘alright, just let it eat and see how far it can go.’ It got the roll of a lifetime, so hopefully next time I’m backed up that far, I can hopefully get the same rule.” Mann is one of the smallest punters in the SEC at 5’11” and 190 pounds. His small frame and height make punting harder than most, and Mann is aware of this factor. “Throughout high school, I just saw guys that were 6’3”, 6’4” with a long frame, and you see in the NFL the average punter is about 6’4”, so I know I’ve got that chip
on my shoulder, and I just got to make up for it,” Mann said. “If I don’t have the long leg, I’ve got to have the faster leg.” Head coach Jimbo Fisher said Mann is unlike any other kicker he has worked with because Mann is able to focus solely on his game and doesn’t falter in the techniques that seem to work for him. “He’s very consistent,” Fisher said. “He doesn’t get bored. ... Kickers are like golfers.You talk about Tiger Woods, how many times does he change his swing? [Kickers] get bored and they tinker.” As a junior, Mann would be eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft, and with his record, he would surely be a prospect for teams. However, Mann said he does not plan to cut his time as a student athlete short. “I think for me, it’s first and foremost getting my degree,” Mann said. “It’s what I came here to do. I didn’t come here to go pro. I also had dreamed my entire life about playing college football, and I’m living the dream right now. I really wouldn’t want to cut that dream short for any amount of money.”
another win against Missouri at home. Junior starting quarterback Jake Bentley was forced to sit out the Missouri game due to an injury, but he will be back under center against the Aggies on Saturday. Bentley has thrown for 928 yards and seven touchdowns, but has also thrown six interceptions in just four games. South Carolina’s senior receiver Deebo Samuel is Bentley’s favorite target. Samuel has caught 26 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns so far this year. Samuel is a playmaker that the A&M defense will need to watch out for. “I treat no player different,” sophomore cornerback Debione Renfro said. “I’ll come in just wanting to do my job, and if I do my job, it’ll be a good team win. ... If you’re shutting down the run, you have no choice but to pass the ball, and if we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do, they shouldn’t be passing the ball either.” After gaining 144 yards and out dueling Benny Snell last week, A&M junior running back Trayveon Williams leads the SEC in rushing with 743 yards on the ground. Williams is having an incredible year with the Aggies and is fifth in the country in rushing yards. For the first five weeks of the season, Williams had a dreadlock he had been growing for eight months dangling over his face, but the running back cut it before the Kentucky game and now keeps it in his locker for good luck. “Eventually, I’ll have to throw it away because it’s a piece of hair,” Williams said. “If you want to be successful in this league, you have to be able to run the ball, and you have to be able to stop the run, so that’s something that coach Fisher implemented and he’s focused on, and we’re doing great at it right now.” The South Carolina defense is 54th in the nation in total defense and 65th in scoring defense. They are led by senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and senior defensive back Rashad Fenton. Allen-Williams leads the team with eight tackles for loss and has racked up two sacks, while Fenton leads the team with three interceptions and has two tackles for loss. The key to the game will be the turnover battle. Despite several strong defensive performances, A&M is one of two teams left in the country that has yet to recovered a fumble, and the Aggies are dead last in the NCAA in causing turnovers. Some of this can be attributed to luck, but it will be key for A&M to put Bentley under pressure and force him to make turnovers like he has done frequently this year. The game will take place at Williams-Brice Stadium at 2:30 p.m. in columbia, south caroline and will be televised on the SEC Network.
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The Battalion | 10.12.18
AROUND THE SEC A LOOK AT THE CONFERENCE FOR WEEK 7
As the second half of the season begins, the SEC lands eight teams in the top 25 and is proving to be the most dominant conference in college football. Alabama and Georgia remain the leaders of the West and East, respectively, but the rest of the league is still hunting for a shot at the title as all teams battle it out going forward. Here’s a look at SEC action going into week seven:
By Dylan Poitevint @Poitite
No. 2 Georgia (6-0) at No. 13 LSU (5-1)
No. 1 Alabama (6-0) vs. Missouri (3-2)
Saturday, Oct. 13 — Tiger Stadium — Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2:30 p.m. on CBS
Saturday, Oct. 13 — Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Alabama 6 p.m. on ESPN
In arguably the biggest conference game this week, Georgia goes to face their first true test against a proven LSU team backed by an intimidating crowd in Death Valley. This matchup will feature two stout defenses with major NFL talent and two quarterbacks looking to make their mark. Georgia, led by sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, has one of the strongest offenses in the nation, as they are averaging 485 yards and 42 points a game. Fromm has been impressive as well, throwing for 200 yards a game with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions, but he may struggle as this LSU defense will be the first legitimate opponent he’s faced all season. The Bulldogs’ SEC-leading defense only allows 283 yards a game and will likely shine against an LSU offense that typically averages 392 yards per match. The Tigers are led by junior quarterback Joe Burrow, who looks to rebound after a tough outing in Gainesville, where he threw his first interceptions of the season. Overall, Burrow has played well for LSU throughout the season, averaging 202 yards per game, but he will have to improve his accuracy and effectiveness if he hopes to lead the Tigers to a win. On the other side of the ball, LSU has one of the most feared defensive units in the nation with wins over Auburn, Miami and Ole Miss. Watch for Georgia to get caught off guard early, but improve their play in the second half to take the win.
This interdivisional showdown features the best of the West against an Eastern team that is still trying to prove itself. Alabama has thoroughly dominated every opponent they’ve faced so far, winning each game by at least three touchdowns. Alabama hopes to keep that streak up when they face Missouri at home this Saturday. Alabama sophomore quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, has been dominant in his Heisman campaign, averaging 249 yards a game, with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. He should have no trouble against a Missouri team that allows 285 yards a game through the air. The Alabama defense is nothing short of spectacular as well, only allowing an average of 332 yards per game and keeping opponents to an average of just 16 points a game. On the other hand, Missouri has played well, especially on offense, where they have a top-10 team nationally. With this said, the Tigers have dropped key games to Georgia and South Carolina and are still trying to find their team identity. Senior Drew Lock averages 248 yards through the air and has thrown 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. His play and decision making will be vital to Missouri’s success, as well as the team’s overall offensive performance. Defensively, the Tigers have struggled, coming in at 77th overall. They will have to play with much improved defense if they hope to slow the Tide’s offense, which ranks fourth nationally. Don’t expect too many surprises in this one.
Prediction: Georgia 27, LSU 17
Prediction: Alabama 54, Missouri 27
No. 21 Auburn (4-2) vs. Tennessee (2-4)
No. 14 Florida (5-1) at Vanderbilt (3-3)
Saturday, Oct. 13 — Jordan-Hare Stadium — Auburn, Alabama 11 a.m. on SECN
Saturday, Oct. 13 — Vanderbilt Stadium — Nashville, Tennessee 11 a.m. on ESPN
This early Saturday matchup pits the struggling Tennessee Volunteers against an Auburn team trying to avoid a possible season derailment. Auburn is following a stunning 23-9 loss to division rival Mississippi State and is on the brink of dropping all preseason hype. The Tigers are led by junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who has five touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Freshman running back JaTarvious Whitlow has helped carry Stidham’s burden, but the Tigers have struggled offensively and are ranked 99th in the nation. Defensively, the Tigers are playing great, allowing only 323 yards per game to opponents. Meanwhile, Tennessee is having a rough season, with their only two wins coming from games against Eastern Tennessee State and UTEP. Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has struggled, with only four touchdowns and two interceptions, and only throwing for 801 yards total. Defensively, the Volunteers have played decently and are ranked 31st nationally, allowing 340 yards a game. Tennessee will have to lean on their defense when they travel to the Plains for a morning showdown with Auburn. Watch for the Tigers to bounce back as they thoroughly handle the Volunteers at home.
This showdown in Nashville will feature a continually improving Florida team against a struggling Vanderbilt. The Gators have looked strong since their loss to Kentucky earlier in the season, with a defense that only allows 321 yards a game and is ranked fourth in the conference. However, Florida’s offense has struggled, averaging only 380 yards a game. They will rely on junior running back Jordan Scarlett to gain some yards on the ground. Scarlett averages 45 yards per game on the ground and is versatile in the pass as well. He and Florida’s other talented backs will get solid yards for the Gators against the Commodores’ defense, which allows almost 400 yards a game. Vanderbilt will have to play lights-out offense and improve their 75th-ranked unit. Led by senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt averages just 398 yards per game and will struggle against this imposing Florida front. Watch for the Gators to lead the majority of the contest as they go on to win it.
Prediction: Auburn 35, Tennessee 14
Prediction: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 13
WEEK 7: STAFF PICKS
No. 22 Texas A&M vs South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. on SECN
Sports Editor @angelmadison_
This is my least favorite week to be in the newsroom. A&M wins on the road.
Asst. Sports Editor @AbigailOchoa88
If we can beat an undefeated Kentucky, we can do this.
ANGEL Luke Henkhaus Managing Editor @luke_henkhaus
Something tells me South Carolina won’t be going soft on A&M this week, and they won’t be pulling out of the game until it’s all over.
News Editor @taylorpaige1299
They already took a major L with their team name....
CASSIE Megan Rodriguez
News Editor @apangonas
The Gamecocks need to harden up if they plan on standing a chance against the Aggies.
Photo Chief @cassie_stricker
Angel and I were going to road trip to South Carolina, but then we thought about how far it is... Catch us day drinking in CSTAT.
Asst. Photo Chief @JesseEverett17
Can’t wait to have my Saturdays back.
The Battalion | 10.12.18
End Hunger is a company that helps provide food and other support to malnourished children in Atoyac, Mexico.
SELLING SNACKS, SAVING LIVES
Aggie-owned company works to eliminate malnourishment By Savannah Mehrtens @SJMehrtens
In the small town of Atoyac, Mexico, an Aggie knew hunger was seriously affecting people, and he wanted to find a way to help. CEO and President of End Hunger Co. Juan Zermeno, Class of 2016, wanted to make a difference in the lives of children and families who suffer from hunger. End Hunger was born in November of 2017 thanks to resources and advice from the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship’s Startup Aggieland program. The company provides care packages to families in the town of Atoyac in the state of Jalisco, Mexico from sales of End Hunger snacks sold online and in the MSC bookstore. Zermeno and his family chose this area to begin working on his mission to end hunger because they are from the nearby city of Guadalajara and have owned a ranch in Atoyac for generations. “[We especially want to] help kids get better nutrition because we believe that malnutrition in children goes a long way in a bad way, especially in third-world countries where
a lot of the times kids are going to school and they didn’t have breakfast or dinner last night,” Zermeno said. Zermeno said there is no way children are capable of learning in class when they are malnourished, and their poor performance in school could lead to trouble, such as joining the local mafia or gangs. “It’s not like they can pay attention in school and perform well if they’re suffering from a condition like malnutrition or anemia or something like that,” Zermeno said. In addition to distributing care packages to the community, End Hunger also provides resources for education and healthcare of the individuals within the community. This includes teaching methods for cooking the food from the care packages and encouraging proper healthcare practices with doctors who volunteer with the company. As of this semester, End Hunger provides Aggie Outdoors with their snack products for camping trips and the students post and promote the brand on social media, according to kinesiology senior and president of Aggie Outdoors Alex Thompson. “[Juan] is an awesome guy, and we just loved the mission and loved his passion with it,” Thompson said. “To help him out, we are going to take pictures of the snacks, post them, tag him. We also have an ambassa-
dor week for his website [where] our group can order his snacks through the website with our code.” Economics senior and President of Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Carlos Ribera is also teaming up with End Hunger. After connecting through social media and becoming good friends, Carlos and Juan are working together to help continue build the growing company. “We’re starting essentially an affiliate program with End Hunger, and we’re planning on helping other organizations do it too,” Ribera said. “It all started from a DM message, turned into a friendship now turned into a partnership.” Zermeno said this is only the beginning and he hopes to see his snacks become as widely sold as KIND or Cliff bars. Eventually, he hopes to help many more communities combat hunger and learn how to better their lives through empowerment from education. “The more that we expand our sales, the more that we can actually replicate this in different communities all over the country of Mexico and potentially in different countries everywhere,” Zermeno said. “As long as we have motivated individuals who are willing to help, we’re going to be able to expand this.”
The Texas A&M string Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. in Rudder Theatre on Oct. 14.
MUSIC CONTINUED science junior Hunter Hewitt is going into his third year playing double bass for the orchestra. Hewitt said the drop in intensity from competition-focused high school orchestra programs has made for a more enjoyable experience. “It is a class credit, so I make sure I stay on top of it, but for me it doesn’t feel like extra hours,” Hewitt said. “It’s a time when I can just go and relieve stress.”
Almany said he hopes the audience will have a meaningful experience at the upcoming concert. “Twenty years from now, they might not remember what we played, but I want them to remember that feeling that they had when we played – those goosebump moments when everything was just right,” Almany said. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday. It is free to everyone with an A&M student ID and $5 for nonstudents.
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The Battalion | 10.12.18
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5 things to watch for during A&M-South Carolina By Brian Bass @brianbass4
Consistency from Trayveon Williams It’s clear that Williams has been the deciding factor in A&M’s past two wins. During the Kentucky game, he had the most all-purpose yards since his performance against Northwestern State and surpassed Kentucky’s Benny Snell Jr. for most rushing yards in the SEC. This week, Williams should continue to put up similar numbers. South Carolina’s rushing defense ranks 99th in Division I and struggled to fill in gaps against Missouri last week. As a team, they gave up 286 rushing yards to Mizzou. As long as the offensive line creates holes and stops the South Carolina front, Williams will run for significant yardage this week.
SC’s one-track offense It’s an unusual time for South Carolina’s offense. Starting quarterback Jake Bentley is coming off a knee injury against Kentucky two weeks ago, while redshirt senior Michael Scarnecchia replaced Bentley in his first career start against Missouri. Bentley threw three intereptions against Kentucky. The Gamecocks are not a well-rounded offense, but they do have a trio of wide receivers that can create a problem for any secondary. Look out for standout senior Deebo Samuel to make a big catch in this weekend’s matchup.
Kellen Mond’s improvement It all comes down to decision-making. Mond has made some questionable throws and choices that put A&M in a tough position against Kentucky, but these issues are easy to fix. This past week, Mond did not make nearly as many mistakes as he did during the Alabama and Arkansas games. Mond made big plays through the air to expose the Kentucky defense. South Carolina is dynamic in the secondary and will prompt Mond to take a harder look before making a pass. Turnovers will be key in this contest, and whoever makes the fewest mistakes will take the win.
A&M’s dynamic defensive front There’s something to be said for the Aggies’ front seven. They are responsible for making A&M fourth in the nation in least rushing yards allowed, and they come through with the big defensive stops on third downs to force punts. Look for the same thing this week. A&M will challenge Bentley to make difficult throws and quick decisions that will put him to the test. Although South Carolina is not run-heavy, they will still run the ball to provide relief to their inexperienced quarterback. Missouri put on 10 tackles for loss and only allowed 128 yards rushing as a unit, so it’s safe to expect similar numbers from the A&M defense in Columbia.
How A&M plays on the road Welcome to the start of A&M’s annual gauntlet. This is the first of three straight game weeks of playing away from Kyle Field, and it will not be easy. South Carolina can produce big plays when they need them, and they proved it against a tough Missouri team. What the Aggies need is a big win on the road going into their bye week to prepare for Auburn. Momentum is everything in the SEC, and A&M will need all they can get to be ready for the Tigers in two weeks. The Aggies have not played very well on the road so far, but they can definitely turn it around starting with the Gamecocks.
Texas A&M University Vol. 116
2018 AGGIELAND It’s not too late to order your copy of the 2018 Aggieland, a photojournalistic record of the 2017-2018 school year. The 116th edition of Texas A&M’s official yearbook. Go Online to aggieland.tamu.edu or call 979-845-2613 to make your purchase. $75.00 + Tax (Includes Mail Fee)
Don’t forget to also preorder your copy of the 2019 Aggieland yearbook. The 117th edition of Texas A&M’s official yearbook. Distribution will be the Fall 2019.
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ALL FASHION CLOTHING
ALL % BARBECUE GRILLS
with an original retail price of $699 and up
ALL OTHER BARBECUE GRILLS
PATIO FURNITURE ALL FINE GOLD, SILVER, DIAMOND & GEMSTONE
*10K gold unless otherwise specified.
Now Hiring, Full & Part Time Seasonal Help, apply in store or online @ https://jobs.sears.com
STORE FIXTURES, FURNITURE & EQUIPMENT FOR SALE NOW! ALL SALES FINAL, NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES. OPEN DAILY REGULAR HOURS. WE ACCEPT VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, AMERICAN EXPRESS AND SEARS CARD. WE ACCEPT SEARS GIFT CARDS. DISCOUNTS DO NOT APPLY TO PREPAID GIFT CARDS AND PHONE CARDS. INVENTORY IS LIMITED TO STOCK ON HAND. THIS STORE IS NOT PARTICIPATING IN CURRENT SEARS CIRCULARS. THIS EVENT EXCLUDES ELECTROLUX AND TEMPUR-PEDIC.
SEARS 10/12 ad
NOW OPEN NEW LOCATION 1306 HARVEY RD (FORMER TOYS’R’US)
WILSON SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK
Jesse Everett â€” THE BATTALION
1741 University Dr. East College Station, TX 77840 979-846-3600
1740 Rock Prairie Rd. College Station, TX 77845 979-680-0508